Apr. 13, 2016
In 2013, the total quantity of pesticide sales amounted to close to 360,000 tonnes, according to the 2015 Agriculture, forestry and fishery statistics report published by Eurostat. It’s the first time that Eurostat add pesticide sales section in this report. Spain (19.5%), France (18.7%), Italy (13.8%), Germany (12.3%) and Poland (6.2%) were the Member States in which the highest quantities of pesticides were sold and together they made up 70.5% of the EU-28’s pesticide sales.
Regulation (EC) No 1185/2009, entered into force in 2009, is the legal basis for the data on pesticide sales. This Regulation establishes a common framework for the systematic production of Community statistics on the placing on the market and use of those pesticides which are plant protection products. Such statistics are necessary for assessing policies of the European Union on sustainable development and for calculating relevant indicators on the risks for health and the environment related to pesticide use.
Fungicides and bactericides were the most sold group of pesticides with a 42% share, followed by herbicides, haulm destructors and moss killers with 35% of the total. Together with the group ‘Other plant protection products’ (13%), the three groups added up to 91% of the pesticides sold in the EU-28 in 2013. Of the other three groups of pesticides, insecticides and acaricides had a 5% share of the total, plant growth regulators 3% and molluscicides held the smallest share of pesticides sales with 1%.
Looking at individual EU Member States, Spain, France, Italy and Germany are top ranked in the amount of sales of each group of pesticides, just like in the total amount of sold pesticides.
Pesticide sales by major groups, 2013
Share of pesticide sales by major groups, 2013 (%)
Pesticide sales by major groups, EU-28, 2013 (1) (%)
The largest quantities of both insecticides and acaricides (6.7 thousand tonnes) and other plant protection products (17.3 thousand tonnes) were placed on the market in Spain. At 32.9 thousand tonnes, Italy had the highest sales of fungicides and bactericides, France ranked top for herbicides, haulm destructors and moss killers with a share of 27.8 thousand tonnes and also in molluscicides with 1.1 thousand tonnes of sales. At 2.9 thousand tonnes in 2013, Germany had the highest share of sold plant growth regulators.
There were exceptions to the pattern of the top four countries. In Poland for instance, 12.5 thousand tonnes of herbicides, haulm destructors and moss killers, 1.3 thousand tonnes of insecticides and acaricides and 1.5 thousand tonnes of plant growth regulators were sold.
The United Kingdom also ranked in the top four for sales of molluscicides and plant growth regulators (0.1 thousand tonnes), while sales of other plant protection products were fourth highest in the Netherlands (3.0 thousand tonnes).
Pesticide sales by major groups, 2013 (tonnes)
The quantities of pesticides that are put on the market yearly can be associated with other statistics directly related to the use of the pesticides. The quantities of sold pesticides are compared to each country’s utilised agricultural area (UAA), and the Member States are ranked by the amount of pesticides (kilograms) per hectare of UAA. Bulgaria had the smallest proportion of pesticide sales per ha with 0.24 kg/ha. Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Sweden, Romania, Lithuania and the United Kingdom all had quantities of sold pesticides under 1 kilogram.
Pesticide sales by UAA (1), 2013 (kilogram per hectare)
Among the top four countries having the highest pesticides sales, only Italy ranked in the top four of pesticide sales per hectare with 4.01 kg/ha. With a value of 13.59 kg/ha, Malta recorded the highest quantity of pesticides per hectare. The most active substance sold and used in Malta is Sulphur, which covers around 65% of total sales and also around 90% of total active substances used.
The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Germany and France all had amounts of pesticides sold per hectare above 2 kg/ha.