In 2014, the total quantity of pesticide sales in the EU-28 amounted to close to 400,000 tonnes, according to the Agriculture, forestry and fishery statistics statistical book published by Eurostat. Spain (19.9 %), France (19.0 %), Italy (16.2 %), Germany (11.6 %) and Poland (5.9 %) were the Member States in which the highest quantities of pesticides were sold, and together they made up 72.7 % of the EU-28’s pesticide sales (see Table 1 and Figure 1).
Figure 1: Share of pesticide sales by major groups, 2014 (%)
Table 1: Pesticide sales by major groups, 2014
‘Fungicides and bactericides’ were the most sold group of pesticides with a 44 % share, followed by ‘herbicides, haulm destructors and moss killers’ with 33 % of the total. Together with the group ‘other plant protection products’ (14 %), the three groups added up to 91 % of the pesticides sold in the EU-28 in 2014. 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 less than 1 % (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: Pesticide sales by major groups, EU-28, 2014
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 (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: Pesticide sales by major groups, 2014 (million tonnes)
The largest quantities of ‘fungicides and bactericides’ (38.4 thousand tonnes), ‘insecticides and acaricides’ (7.5 thousand tonnes) and ‘other plant protection products’ (17.8 thousand tonnes) were placed on the market in Spain. France ranked top in ‘herbicides, haulm destructors and moss killers’ with 31.0 thousand tonnes and in ‘molluscicides’ with 0.9 thousand tonnes of sales. With 2.8 thousand tonnes in 2014, France also had the highest share of sold ‘plant growth regulators’.
There were exceptions to the pattern of the top four countries. In the United Kingdom for instance, 12.4 thousand tonnes of ‘herbicides, haulm destructors and moss killers’, 0.2 thousand tonnes of ‘molluscicides’ and 2.2 thousand tonnes of ‘plant growth regulators’ were sold. Poland also ranked in the top four for sales of ‘insecticides and acaricides’ (1.5 thousand tonnes) and ‘plant growth regulators’ (2.1 thousand 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. In Figure 4, the quantities of sold pesticides are compared to each country’s UAA, and the Member States are ranked by the amount of pesticides (kilograms) per hectare (ha) of UAA. Bulgaria had the smallest proportion of pesticide sales per ha with 0.22 kg/ha. Ireland, Estonia, Finland, Denmark, Latvia, Romania, Greece, Sweden and Lithuania all had quantities of sold pesticides under 1 kg/ha of UAA.
Figure 4: Pesticide sales by UAA, 2014 (kilogram per hectare)
None of the top four countries having the highest pesticides sales, ranked in the top four of pesticide sales per ha of UAA. With a value of 9.97 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. Cyprus had the second highest value of pesticide sales per ha of UAA, with 9.57 kg/ha.
The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Germany, France and Slovenia all had amounts of pesticides sold per hectare above 2 kg/ha.