Aug. 16, 2016
According to IVA, the German crop protection industry association, Germany's crop protection market in 2015 experienced a 0.5% drop, with sales reaching EUR1.592 billion, marking the first decrease after 5 years of consecutive growth. IVA reported that the dry climate had caused the decelerated growth, and the market later rebounded, which was partly attributable to the increased humidity.
Herbicide market sales amounted to EUR636 million, down 6.3% year on year. In the spring of 2015, the market advantage held by cereal-oriented herbicides decreased significantly, while product applications were maintained at a lower level. Due to weather conditions, the autumn product applications of 2015 were maintained at a higher level compared to last year.
Sugarbeet herbicides dropped considerably, by 15%, over last year. The heavy rainfall before Easter in some regions of Germany, especially in northern Germany, alleviated the agglomeration of the soil. In April 2015, the serious drought in the affected regions of Germany resulted in an extremely uneven planting distribution of sugarbeets.
The corn herbicide market of 2015 grew 2.5%. Since the corn planting area was reduced in 2013, only 2.6 million hectares were allocated to planting corn in 2015, where weed control was implemented more intensively compared to the same period in 2014.
Rapeseed planting has remained unchanged in recent years, but the rapeseed herbicide market has declined slightly. The planting of rapeseed was quite good in October 2015, and herbicide sales in most of the rapeseed planting area were not bad. However, the heavy rainfall in some areas had an impact on the applications of herbicide. The market value of non-selective herbicides declined slightly compared to last year. Generally speaking, there was a public debate over glyphosate
Compared to last year, fungicide sales increased 5%, having reached EUR711 million. The total sales of cereal fungicides show a downward trend compared to 2014. Since wholesalers had anticipated higher sales than 2014, they overstocked their inventory.
During the early stages of yellow rust disease control, the disease's incidence in cereal surpassed last year's figures. Since the rainfall in April, all crop diseases required proper control, which had to be done systematically. Spot blight and rust disease occurred in northern Germany this April, and rapeseed grew late in the season, causing a slight decline in demand for fungicides. Reduced demand for fungicides compared to previous years, due to the dry climate, was also seen in potato and sugarbeet crops. The sugarbeet planting reduction policy also contributed to this decrease in demand.
Insecticide market sales have amounted to EUR134 million, down 10.7% year on year. Rapeseed pollinating insects and the snout beetle, in springtime, caused less damage than last year, while neonicotinoid pesticide was not used in autumn. Therefore, rapeseed insecticide sales in 2015 were lower than last year. Because the population of springtime aphids had reduced compared with last year, insecticide was less used. Also, because of the reduced population of sucking insect during autumn cereal sowing, insecticide use dropped.
The market value of the remaining crop protection products, such as plant growth regulators, rodenticide, and molluscacide (snails and Viviparidae), has reached EUR111 million, which is an increase of 18.1%. So far as plant growth regulators are concerned, the growth cycle of plants and the reduced inventory of the product will create certain demand. Compared to the same period last year, molluscacide sales appear to have aggressive growth. After the serious damage caused by insect pests in 2014, molluscacide stocks fell by 20% in 2015. To combat the rising field mouse population in some countries, rodenticide demand grew.
IVA has suggested that imports of crop protection products may be increased legally, although illegal imports still happen occasionally. The old sales certificate and the parallel import data applications might still cause confusion between legal and illegal products.
On December 31, 2015, the value of stocks of wholesale crop protection products reached EUR381 million, up 30% over the last year's EUR294 million. The 76% increase in fungicide stocks contributed EUR78 million. To this end, it can be concluded that crop protection product applications have started to decline.