A strong fall in prices of main agrochemicals was reported in Argentina in 2016. 
In 2016, the prices of 2, 4-D, atrazine and haloxifop fell by 15% compared with 2015. Clethodim dropped 29% and glyphosate prices decreased by 13.8%. All this data has been sourced from Consultant Luis Mogni.
These products represent almost 45% of the market. Any variation impacts the rest of the sector. In the case of glyphosate , a survey of the Agros Group indicated even higher decrease, it was estimated to be 26.83%.
Last year, the market for agrochemicals in general was US$ 2.4 billion, a positive variation of only 0.4%, compared with 2015. It was a slight increase in value, in terms of volume, with the recovery of wheat and corn, and with the problems of resistant weeds, there was an improvement of 17.1%. Again, the explanation comes from prices, which had a decrease of 16.8% on average for all the market.
For farmers, the lower prices meant savings of US$ 400 million (Glyphosate alone meant US$200 million). Besides, given the lower prices, it is estimated that fertilizers brought savings of nearly US$200 million.
Several factors contributed to the price drop. In the first place, there was pressure from multinationals involved in procedures of purchases and fusions at the global level to sell more by the end of the year and to fulfill commitments made to their headquarters. They were very aggressive in terms of sales not only achieving high volumes in the distribution channels, but also selling under lower prices. Some estimates indicate that unsold stocks of distributors in December were pegged at US$ 500 million.
Secondly, adverse climate conditions pushed the farmers’ demand to relent. So, normal demand with an abundant supply unbalanced the market. Thirdly, there was another element that affected prices: imports. Adding active ingredients and formulated products, the total dollars for imports dropped by 6.2% and represented US$ 1.19 billion. On the other hand, the volumes imported jumped from 10% to 15%.
According to the industry, just in terms of formulated products, the volume went from imports of 56.9 million liters/kilos in 2015 to 71.1 million liters/kilos in 2016. There was an increase of 25%. According to sources in the market, only 41 new companies would have purchased abroad in 2016 after the end of restrictions imposed on imports that were imposed by the previous administration. They are new firms or that after having had problems with the importation they returned to the arena. These are companies that joined the importers as always.
Though holding just 3% of the imported mass, the presence of Chinese companies changed a market that already had an oversupply. It was also noted that there was a greater move by Chinese companies to do direct sales that are now channeled by importers. In China, there were nearly 500 companies have the ability to supply the Argentinean market.
Businesses in the sector in Argentina have complained about the lack of control of imports. “They are controlling less than 5% of what is entering the market, while in the United States everything is controlled and Brazil controls about 30%,” said a businessman to the newspaper La Nacion.
“From China, anything could enter, products without the correct concentration of an active ingredient declared or not with impurity or contaminated or those coming with a productive plant that is not named in the import,” the source added.
In the midst of the import controversy, Luis Calvo of Agros Group said, "Although for the producer is good news (the price decrease), a balance must be found that allows a reasonable cost to the producer and to take care of the whole pesticide industry."