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US pesticide market seeing the number of active companies shrink

Industry Sector

Agriculture, Farming & Raw Materials


14 January 2013


Alex De Angelis

Type of News


Demand within the US pesticide market is expected to approach $10 billion in 2016 as the markets address increasingly resistant pest populations and growing concerns about pesticide safety. In response to these problems, technical grade pesticide active ingredient usage is projected to reach 960 million pounds.

Over 2006-2012, the development of the US market for pesticides and "other" agro-chemical products tracked the growth of the overall agriculture industry and expanded by 37%. However, a sharp 34% expansion was seen in 2010 over the previous year. This rise in demand was prompted by soaring food prices and farmers' desire to increase yields.

Both insecticides and herbicides will be affected by industry-wide changes influenced by integrated pest management, biopesticides, and other environmentally friendly techniques. Biopesticides are expected to show strong growth, particularly in the consumer market as home gardening enthusiasts turn to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and other biopesticide products.

Herbicides are the most widely used type of pesticide in the United States, but in recent years they have been dominated by a single active ingredient: glyphosate.

Glyphosate-tolerant soybean and corn acreage expanded significantly over the past decade, with growers becoming more dependent on the nonselective herbicide that destroys weeds but leaves crops intact.

The number of companies active in the industry shrank between 2007 and 2012. The largest drop in number was seen among small companies, which accounted for only 5% of the industry turnover in 2012.

The largest manufacturers in the US industry are Syngenta AG, Monsanto Co, Agrium Inc, FMC Corp and Dow Agrosciences LLC.

The long-term picture is also positive, due to growing populations and rising incomes among the world's mid-income group, which will boost demand for higher protein diets. FAO estimates that by 2050, grain production needs to increase by 70% to meet growing demand.

Although the industry is considered integral to the agricultural sector, pesticides have experienced little growth over the past decade due to rising organic farming and more selective herbicides.

However, as biofuel crop sizes increase, revenue for pesticide manufacturers is set to expand over the next five years.

For more information on the US pesticide market, see the latest research: US Pesticide Market

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