Crop protection chemicals

About 45% of sales of global crop protection chemicals is attributable to herbicides. Fungicides and insecticides account for about 28% and 25% of the global market value respectively.


In 2019, as in previous years, the global market for crop protection agrochemicals was dominated by several major global producers: Syngenta (from the ChemChina Group that also includes Adama), Bayer (which acquired Monsanto, an American corporation, in 2018), BASF, Corteva (effect of the merger of Dow Chemicals and DuPont) and FMC. These companies are main contributors to the world markets because they significantly influence directions of the industry development, includ-ing: development of new technologies and introduction of innovative products to the market. The total share of the afore-mentioned producers in the total global sales of agrochemicals is estimated at about 2/3.

It is estimated that in 2019, the value of sales in the global market of crop protection chemicals reached approx. USD 58 billion and was comparable to that of the previous year. The absence of a clear growth of the market in the past year was caused by unfavourable weather conditions in some regions of the world (e.g. floods in the USA, drought in Australia), combined with the continued very good economic situation in South America and a further increase in demand in Asia due to a rapidly growing population (albeit with some stagnation of pesticide production in China - failures and stoppages as a result of environmental controls), as well as an appreciation of the USD.


Asia and Latin America are currently the largest regional markets of crop protection chemicals with shares in global sales amounting to approx. 30% and 24% respectively. Slightly smaller markets are Europe and North America (about 20% each). The rest of the world accounts for several percent of global consumption. Estimates for the European market in 2019 indi-cate that this figure remained relatively flat from the previous year.

From the beginning until the half of this decade, demand for CPC in Europe has been growing rapidly (by approx. 8% annu-ally on average, according to the value in EUR). Since 2016, European sales have remained at about EUR 11 billion, which can be attributed to the fact that Europe is a very mature market. The sales volume in 2019 was driven by: extreme weather conditions, relatively high stocks of commodities and associated low prices, activities of NGOs aimed at reducing the use of crop protection products in Western Europe; offset by a clear increase in demand on Central and Eastern European markets.

In general, prospects for further development of the European market of crop protection chemicals can be assessed as positive, especially in the area of generic products manufactured by the CIECH Group.

SALES OF CROP PROTECTION CHEMICALS IN EUROPE IN 2010-2019 (preliminary estimates for 2019)

For a number of years, the biggest European markets for CPC are France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom and Poland. However, the im-portance of countries such as Romania and Ukraine is also increasing.

In Poland, since the beginning of this decade, the consumption of crop protec-tion products has been following a growing trend with some fluctuations be-tween 70-100 thousand tonnes/year. The estimated increase in tonnage in 2019 should be associated with a moderately good economic situation in do-mestic agriculture, accompanied by a slowdown in the increase in prices of in-puts for agriculture. Despite the overall upwards trend in local CPC production, the Polish market continues to be dominated by foreign suppliers with a very wide range of products.

Imports, in terms of weight, account for approx. 60% of demand (approx. 90% in terms of value). The reason of such a dis-proportion is lack of sufficient offer of Polish producers, who have much less of financial resources to conduct research on new products, their registration and marketing.

The share of herbicides in the structure of CPC consumption in Poland is similar to the global one. Significantly more herbicides are used in Poland because of high percentage of grains in general cultivated area. Insecticide consumption is lower than the world average (in general, in the moderate climate zone, the pressure of diseases is much higher than that of pests – the so-called Central Zone).


Global concerns and several local producers are main participants in the Polish market. CIECH Sarzyna S.A. is the largest domestic producer. The company’s activity regarding crop protection chemicals is focused on the Polish market, where the CIECH Group has a share of approx. 5% (in terms of value). This share is much higher with regards to grain herbicides segment, which is the company’s main product group, and amounts to about 23%. In 2019, the CIECH Group continued its foreign expansion in the area of agrochemicals. With the acquisition of Spanish supplier of crop protection products, Proplan, in 2018, the Group is today present in more than 50 countries worldwide with the right products for agriculture. This is also due to the consistent implementation of the development strategy (in the area of plant protection), which consists in intensification of research and development activities, expansion of the product range and strengthening of the sales and marketing areas.

For the next few years, the global demand for crop protection products is also expected to continue to grow at a robust pace, with an average annual rate of 3% (in terms of value). Growth will be driven mainly by overseas markets such as Latin America, some countries in Africa and the Far East, i.e. those where the CIECH Group is already present. In Western Europe, the market will be rather stable, while in the central and eastern regions of our continent, significant growth is still expected.

Market forecasts are based on the assumption of decreasing arable land area on the global scale, increasing population and the resulting neces-sity of constant yield increase. On the other hand, various national and international regulatory bodies, whose task is to monitor the consumption of crop protection chemicals in order to lower their negative influ-ence on the natural environment will affect the growth in consumption of crop protection chemicals.

The development strategy of the CIECH Group in the field of crop protection products includes inten-sive research and development ac-tivities, expansion of the product offer, and ongoing foreign expansion.

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