Pesticide Action Network Updates Service (PANUPS)
October 16, 1998
The following summaries are based on reports in “Agrow: World Crop Protection News,” a bi-weekly magazine reporting on agrochemical industry activities around the world.
–China: Experts predict that China will produce over 350,000 tons of pesticides in 1998, based on the first six months of production. The increased output plus existence of pesticide stockpiles from the previous year will likely lead to reduced prices in the coming year. Insecticides accounted for over 69% of all pesticides produced in the first half of the year. Production of methyl parathion was up 39% over 1997 production figures during this same period. Analysts currently value the Chinese agrochemical market at approximately US$1 billion.
–India: Sales of pesticides in India are expected to increase at least 5% to 8% in 1998. In 1997, sales declined by 13% as a result of crop failures due to adverse weather. The cotton crop, one of the most pesticide intensive crops, was particularly affected.
Indian production of technical grade* pesticides fell approximately 13% to 82,500 tons in 1997/98. However, output is expected to increase to 90,100 tons in 1998/99, according to forecasts by the Indian Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. Figures from the Ministry show that India produced 4,100 tons of DDT in 1996/97 and that 4,200 tons would be produced in 1997/98. The Ministry predicts that production of monocrotophos and endosulfan would reach 12,000 tons and 8,700 tons respectively in 1997/98. A sharp increase in the number of Indian pesticide manufacturers led to over production of many technical grade pesticides, causing prices of several key insecticides to fall as much as 50%.
The Indian government imposed an 18% duty on imports of technical grade pesticides, a move that was condemned by the Indian agrochemical industry. Industry claims that small- scale pesticide formulators will be forced to close and that pesticide prices will increase. Duty on biopesticides, however, was cut from 30% to 5% in an attempt by the government to encourage farmers to use less toxic pest control methods.
— South Korea: Due to the strength of the U.S. dollar, pesticide sales fell by 22% to US$548 million in 1997. However, the volume of active ingredients sold remained constant. Insecticides accounted for nearly 37% of sales by volume, followed by fungicides at 30% and herbicides at 24%. Earlier this year, the South Korean government announced plans to reduce pesticide use by 50% by 2004. The government announced that pesticide reduction would be part of a wide- ranging reform of Korea’s agriculture sector that would include promoting farming methods that have less impact on the environment.
— Thailand: Pesticide sales are expected to fall about 10% in 1998, according to the Thai Crop Protection Association. In 1997, the volume of sales fell by over 10% to almost 50,000 tons due to a drought during the first half of the year. Herbicides accounted for 52% of sales. Some of the most widely-used pesticides in Thailand are paraquat, glyphosate, atrazine and synthetic pyrethroids.
— Vietnam: Agrochemical sales rose by 22% in 1997 to US$109 million, up from US$89.5 million in the previous year. The rise was due to an increase in cultivated acreage as well as high pest pressure. Volume of sales dropped, however, as farmers switched to lower volume products. Insecticides accounted for 48% of sales.
* Technical grade pesticides are pesticide chemicals in a pure form (usually 95% to 100% active ingredient). The chemical is then formulated into pesticide products such as wettable powders, dusts, emulsifiable concentrates, granules, etc.
Sources: Agrow: World Crop Protection News, June 26, August 14, August 28, and September 18, 1998.