Dec. 13, 2022
Pendimethalin is a dinitro mothylanilin herbicide, which inhibits meristematic cell division without affecting the germination of weed seeds. Instead, it acts on buds, stems and roots during the process of germination of the seeds. For dicotyledon, uptake occurs at the hypocotyledonary axis while for monocotyledon, uptake occurs at buds. The action damages buds and secondary roots, which are inhibited, therefore, creating a herbicidal effect.
Pendimethalin versus competitors
Pendimethalin is a dinitro mothylanilin herbicide, which is absorbed by weed buds during the process of germination then via tubulin protein binding, inhibiting meristematic cell division and, therefore, causing the death of weeds. Its application covers dry fields, such as cotton and corn crops, as well as paddy rice fields. Compared to competing products acetochlor and trifluralin, pendimethalin has higher safety levels that are well in line with China’s high safety, environmentally-friendly low toxic development trend, being expected to even replace acetochlor and trifluralin in the coming years.
Mode of action
Pendimethalin is absorbed by weed buds during the process of germination, getting inside the plant to bind with tubulin proteins, therefore, inhibiting meristematic cell division to cause the death of weeds. It has the features of high activity, broad herbicidal spectrum, low toxicity and low residue, being highly safe for humans and animals. It is also a very environmentally-friendly product, as it offers good soil adsorption and is not prone to leaching. It can be used for both pre-emergence applications and post-emergence applications, as well as applications before transplanting, with a lasting effect as long as 45 to 60 days. A single application will solve the weed problem throughout the growing period.
Pendimethalin industry chain
The upstream pendimethalin industry chain includes o-xylene, 4-Nitro-o-xylene, 3-Pentylamine, of which 4-Nitro-o-xylene and 3-Pentylamine are pendimethalin’s key intermediates. Pendimethalin is mainly applied to soybean, peanut, corn, cotton, tobacco and vegetable crops for controlling weeds.
3-Pentylamine is an important raw material in the synthesis of pendimethalin. According to the annual report of the prime pendimethalin manufacturer, BSM Chemical, its 3-Pentylamine is mainly purchased from Jiangsu Hengxing at an average purchase price of around RMB23,000 per ton in 2021, accounting for some 38.6% of the cost of pendimethalin’s raw materials, as calculated at 0.35 unit consumption.
Global pendimethalin industry status quo
Currently, the global market demand for pendimethalin exceeds 40,000 tons, and its market sales are around $400 million, accounting for some 1 to 2% of the global herbicide market’s value. Due to its potential as a substitute for other harmful herbicides, the market is promising and is expected to double.
The global sales of pendimethalin in 2019 was $397 million, ranking in the 12th place in the category of leading single herbicide variety in the world. According to relevant statistics, by region, Europe is one of the most important pendimethalin markets, accounting for 28.47% of global sales; Asia accounted for 27.32%, where the product was mainly sold in India, China and Japan; the American market is concentrated in the United States, Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador, while sales in the Middle East and Africa were less.
Global Pendimethalin Sales 2003-2020 (Sale Value in million US$)
Pendimethalin price trend in China
The yearly average price of pendimethalin is relatively stable, and excluding tax, it remains more or less above RMB40,000 per ton. Since 2022, for reasons such as the restricted productions of BASF and India, the price of pendimethalin continued to rise in China.
Pendimethalin Technical Price in China 2019-2022 (RMB10,000/ton)
Global pendimethalin production and supply distribution
Global pendimethalin production and supply are highly concentrated. Currently, the total global pendimethalin production capacity is around 40,000 tons annually, of which BASF is the largest manufacturer in the world with a production capacity of 20,000 tons per year, while in China, BSM Chemical is the largest manufacturer with a production capacity of 12,000 tons per year. The rest includes Huangyang with 6,000 tons per year, and Binnong with 5,000 tons per year while UPL, Rallis and GSP produced a total of 6,000 tons per year.
Global Pendimethalin Production and Supply Distribution(%)
Chinese pendimethalin industry development trend
The pendimethalin produced in China is effective in terms of control, as well as being environmentally-friendly, but its price has stayed at a higher level compared with the same type of herbicides, therefore, it is falling behind in the market. The product is mainly used on commercial crops, such as cotton and vegetables. With the gradual change of mindset and market improvement, the demand and application for Chinese pendimethalin has increased rapidly. The amount of pendimethalin technical consumed in the domestic market has increased from roughly 2,000 tons in 2012 to more than 5,000 tons at present, being applied to dry land rice and corn. Also, various high-efficient formulations are being developed. In light of the demand of more than 10,000 tons of pendimethalin technical in Europe and North America, the pendimethalin market in China is expected to grow constantly and rapidly.
Applications of pendimethalin are in line with the national industrial policy of the development of efficient and pollution-free pesticides, and also comply with the international market trend of applying environmentally-friendly pesticides to gradually replace high-toxic and high-residue pesticides. A great future prospect is foreseeable.
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