Discussion: What is the market prospect of Cyhalofop-butyl in mainstream, non-mainstream rice planting regions?
Mar. 9, 2021
Since the release of AgroPages’ free research report titled “Market Report of China's Popular Paddy Fields Herbicide Cyhalofop-butyl” there has been positive feedback from overseas readers among whom there have been lively discussions on the subject.
These discussions happened not only in the mainstream rice-growing regions but also in Latin America and other countries or regions. The topics of the discussion ranged from the market space of Cyhalofop-butyl, to competitive products, and even extended to local rice cultivation.
We have selected feedback and discussions happening in several representative rice-growing countries that are meant to help readers understand, from various perspectives, the features of the rice market in different regions and the business opportunities of Cyhalofop-butyl.
As we are aware, 90% of global rice cultivation occurs in Asia, mainly in China, India and other Southeast Asian countries. Before we focus on Asia, let us look at several non-mainstream rice markets.
A colleague of Lanafil, a local Uruguayan enterprise, said that although Uruguay's territory is small, many people do not notice the fact that Uruguay is the world’s sixth-largest rice exporter (top five being India, Thailand, Vietnam, the United States and Pakistan). Its agricultural land reaches 14.864 million hectares, including 1.64 million hectares of arable land, of which rice planting area amounts to 130,000 hectares, and it is still increasing year by year.
Direct seeding is the dominant rice planting method in Uruguay, where the major weed is Oryza Sativa Linnaeus. Cyhalofop-butyl is a very important product in Uruguay's rice pesticide market, with consumption of about 30 tons at converted content, ranking fifth place among the local rice field herbicides. The top five herbicides in the local market are glyphosate, propanil, quinclorac, clomazone and Cyhalofop-butyl. Uruguay’s rice is mainly for export, thus requiring higher quality pesticides with safety properties. Chinese enterprises that can provide such products may approach the local market for business cooperation.
Facts: Top ten rice-producing countries are China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines, Brazil and Pakistan.
Russia is not a popular rice market. A senior industry professional told us in August 2020 that because of the water resources of Kuban River, Russia’s rice is primarily planted in the Krasnodar border region, where the rice planting area has been increasing constantly. This is a plain area in the temperate zone, its latitude is the same as Harbin of China, and is planted annually with cold region rice, usually sown in April for harvesting in early October, which is similar to the situation in Northeast China.
At present, Cyhalofop-butyl is used in small quantities in Russia. The annual use of Cyhalofop-butyl does not exceed 30 tons at converted content. Cyhalofop-butyl 20% EW is the main formulation in the application, which was brought into the Russian market only two years ago, while Dow had not sold any of its products in Russia before. With the increase of rice cultivation in Russia, it is believed that this product variety will still have room for further growth thanks to its high safety properties.
Companies that are good at planting rice in China's cold region may play a part in the rice cultivation region of Russia.
Now let us take a look at Turkey in the Eurasian region. This is the viewpoint from a registration and import expert of the local enterprise ENTOSAV: Rice accounts for a relatively small proportion of Turkey's planting structure. The use of rice pesticides accounts for 7% of the country's total pesticide consumption. Direct seeding of rice is the major method in the country. The main herbicides on this market include Cyhalofop-butyl, pendimethalin, bentazone, molinate, imazamox, glyphosate and bispyribac-sodium, 2,4-D and paraquat. Five years ago, there was a considerable market growth of Cyhalofop-butyl in Turkey. However, later, the demand for Cyhalofop-butyl declined obviously. By 2019, the market volume was more than 30 tons at converted content. It is difficult for a company to make a profit on the product because there are too many other competitive products in the market. In addition, resistance has emerged and manufacturers are looking for better solutions.
Since we are talking about rice, let us now turn to Asia, the most important rice-growing region in the world.
The standpoint of Indian Aimco is very representational: Compared with China, the use of Cyhalofop-butyl in India is indeed very low. Transplanted rice is cultivated in most areas of India. Echinochloa and Echinochloa crusgalli are the worst weeds in rice fields, whilst Cyperus rotundus and Cynodon dactylon are the worst weeds in highland areas.
To tackle these mainstream weeds, the major herbicide application to paddy field is bispyribac-sodium. Moreover, there are many cheaper products as options, such as 2,4-D, fenoxaprop-P-ethyl+safener. Cyhalofop-butyl is an alternative for the control of Echinochloa crusgalli in India. Furthermore, there are four to five local formulators that can formulate Cyhalofop-butyl. Therefore, not too many formulations are imported by India.
Other common weeds include Amaranthus baccifera, Cyperus Iria, Cyperus difformis, Eclipta alba, Fimbristylis miliacea, Ischaemum rugosum, Leptochloa chinensis, Monochoria vaginalis, Paspalum distichum and Spaenoclea zeylanica. Many Indian farmers with land of poor soil would need more cost-effective new formulations.
In addition, another Indian company shares the same point of view as above. An intellectual property staff of Hikal Ltd said that the demand for Cyhalofop-butyl in India is not big, it is not a product that has required special attention of the company.
A communication staff of BMC in Vietnam thinks that 65% of Vietnam's crops are rice, where the resistance to Leptochloa chinensis is quite a serious issue. There is a large market space for Cyhalofop-butyl, which is the mainstream rice herbicide in Vietnam. Moreover, since Vietnam’s continuous ban on old pesticides and Western countries’ ban on the import of Vietnam's agricultural products, the government of Vietnam is now guiding farmers to use low-toxic and high-safety herbicides. To date, the Vietnamese market is only looking at low-toxicity and high-safety products under Category 5. Hence, the high safety property of Cyhalofop-butyl is also a reason for its greater demand. The main formulation type which is popular on the market of Vietnam is Cyhalofop-butyl 100/200 EC.
Vietnam is exporting 40% of its rice, which is produced mainly by manual transplanting. However, at present the country is robustly developing its industry and commerce, expecting the labor force to move into the cities. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a change of agricultural production mode. In the future, with the continuous increase of mechanized plantation, the demand for pesticide products fit for machine transplanting will increase constantly. In addition, attention may be paid to the Myanmar market, where the use of Cyhalofop-butyl will most probably grow by double-digits year by year.
A marketing manager of Sundat in Singapore expressed his views on the Vietnamese market, saying that Vietnam is one of the main markets of Sundat, the company that has already set up a formulation plant there.
It seems as if in Southeast Asia the consumption of Cyhalofop-butyl in Vietnam is large, where the single agent is used for control of Leptochloa chinensis. However, the overall consumption of Cyhalofop-butyl and penoxsulam in Southeast Asia is not mainstream, primarily because the high temperature will affect the efficacy of the product. The marketing manager of Sundat believes that the market prospect of clomazone is relatively better.
As a big rice-growing country, Thailand does not hold Cyhalofop-butyl in high regard. This viewpoint is confirmed by Korean Dongbu Hannong, who is focusing its effort on clomazone market development in Thailand, where there is no room for further sale of Cyhalofop-butyl.
As the world’s second-largest rice export country in the world, what is the market space of Cyhalofop-butyl in Thailand? Here is a professional viewpoint from a senior expert of AIM ARODA.
In China, Cyhalofop-butyl is the largest herbicide variety in rice fields, which, however in Thailand, covers only 70,000 hectares of rice fields, which is very tittle compared to the 10 million hectares of rice fields in Thailand. The main formulation type is 10% EC, which is applied to one hectare at the dose of approximately 100ml, with the per-hectare cost being around US$28.2.
Cyhalofop-butyl is not a mainstream product in Thailand. Here is an example of a direct seeding herbicide, which is applied before seedling, at early and later stages after seedling.
Pre-emergence application: 2.33 million hectares, market value of $3.8 million;
Early-stage of post-emergence: 22.03 million hectares, market value of $16.38 million;
The later stage of post-emergence: 22.79 million hectares, market value of $24.45 million.
Cyhalofop is an age-old product, mainly for control of the resistant Leptochloa chinensis. However, products used in Thailand against Leptochloa chinensis are ranked as the following, covering all stages of applications (The ranking of Cyhalofop-butyl goes beyond the top 12):
The communication staff of Farmcochem in Malaysia gave feedback that stated, “Cyhalofop-butyl is used to control Leptochloa chinensis, so its quantity of consumption mainly depends on the incidence of Leptochloa chinensis in the local region. Although it can also be used to control Echinochloa crusgalli, there are more pesticides available for that purpose. Additionally, the local market trend is drifting towards developing broad-spectrum herbicides that are convenient for farmer’s use.”
The rice planting area in Indonesia is 11.7 million hectares, making it the third largest rice growing country in the world. Person of Pandawa Agri from Indonesia told AgroPages, East Java is an important rice production area in Indonesia. The main rice planting method in this area is transplanting.
Cyhalofop-butyl is used more in areas near Central Java, but less in East Java. The main herbicide for paddy fields in East Java is glyphosate, 2.4 D, metsulfuron.
In addition to the selection of herbicides for weed control in Indonesia, farmers also face many phytotoxicity problems caused by herbicides. For example, certain products cause yellowing of rice leaves and poor growth. Local companies look forward to cooperate with suppliers providing solutions to these problems.
The top 15 herbicide used in paddy field in Indonesia:
In conclusion, AgroPages would like to thank readers all over the world for their active and professional thoughts. Based on the above feedback, can we think about the following:
1.Has the market position of Cyhalofop-butyl in China benefited from the developed rice planting method there, such as the grass phase changes brought about by the popularization of machine transplanting?
2.The application effect of Cyhalofop-butyl is much affected by temperature, which is mostly at a high level in Southeast Asia and South Asia all year round. Is this a final judgment for the market prospect of Cyhalofop-butyl? Or is it possible to develop new formulations with new technologies for local conditions, to revitalize the market of Cyhalofop-butyl?
3.The high safety property of Cyhalofop-butyl is a big advantage for the product. In some countries and regions where high-quality rice is cultivated, is there a chance of further market growth?
4.Although India is a big rice-growing country, is the market growth of Cyhalofop-butyl limited due to the impacts of the planting mode and cost of planting?
AgroPages will continue releases of its Market Report series. The topic of our next issue will be - “(R)-Metamifop patent is about to expire; will a new round of market growth begin?”
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