The demand for insecticide active ingredients in the US is projected to increase 2.6 percent per year to $910 million in 2020, according to the Freedonia Group’s new report, ‘Agricultural pesticide market in the US’. Volume is expected to stay flat at 57 million pounds over the same period.  

Even faster growth for insecticides is limited by a number of factors. The market continues to be dominated by a small handful of products, and the deregulation and introduction of new insecticides has been slow and limited. The increases in practices like integrated pest management have hampered growth in the insecticide market, and the continued success of bio-insecticides and genetically modified plants has limited the need for conventional insecticides.

Another matter impacting insecticide demand is the continued trend toward formulations with lower levels of active ingredient. This trend has resulted from several factors, including the introduction of more potent active ingredients, improved adjuvants, and concerns regarding the high levels of pesticide residues being released into the environment.

While herbicides are the most significant product at the active ingredient level (in both dollar and pound terms), insecticides surpassed herbicides in 2015 to become the most significant category for formulated pesticide products due to the significantly higher markups seen in these products.  Going forward, newer, safer, higher-value products will support the fastest gains in insecticides, added the report.