FLUORIDE ACTION NETWORK PESTICIDE PROJECT
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UK: Nine organofluorine pesticides
rank in the top 30 for
"Most Widely used pesticides in the UK (by Area Treated)"
Published 29 April 2000
by the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
in the online report, "Design of a Tax or Charge Scheme for Pesticides"
Annex C3: Overview of Pesticide Industry
Note from FAN:
-- 3 organofluorine pesticides are in the top 10 for "Most Widely used pesticides in the UK (by Area Treated)"
-- 8 organofluorine pesticides are among the top 30 in this same category
|Table C3.5: 50 Most Widely used pesticides in the UK (by Area Treated)|
|1||Formulation||Method||Area treated (ha)||Weight applied (kg ai)|
|Source: Pesticide Use Survey|
The full report, minus some Figures, is available at
ANNEX C3: Overview of Pesticide Industry
C3.1. Introduction: Global Nature of the Pesticides Industry
The extent to which the pesticides industry has become global in its outlook is an important factor to take into account when we consider the extent to which one could expect a tax or charge implemented unilaterally in the UK to affect patterns of innovation in pesticide formulations. The agrochemical industry is becoming increasingly concentrated as a result of a continuing wave of mergers and acquisitions, as well as strategic alliances, that has been occurring, with varying intensity, over the last three decades.
Some of the key influences have been:
the work of International Agricultural Research Centres (such as IRRI, CIMMYT, CIP), fostering an internationalisation of the seed industry, and the spread of varieties which were in some cases highly susceptible to pathogens;
the harmonisation across countries in the field of plant breeders rights which occurred through UPOV;
the prospects for more complete horizontal integration of seed and agrochemical input supply presented by technological innovation, in particular, new biotechniques;
the potential offered by the same technological changes to create end-use tailored, or identity-preserved varieties (as a means of the upstream sectors of the food chain gaining higher proportions of value-added in agriculture); and
institutional innovations in the field of intellectual property rights (in particular, the award of patents to living materials and the GATT TRIPS agreement) which have strengthened commercial incentives to engage in research which promotes the integration of input supply mentioned above (Goodman et al 1987; Lacy and Busch 1991; Lamola 1995; Hogg forthcoming).
The most recent spate of mergers and acquisitions (see for example AGROW 1998) has been prompted by the last two of these influences. The agrochemical industry is now no longer focused solely on chemicals.
Increasingly, large corporations have absorbed seed companies into their operations with a view to engineering seeds to express resistance or tolerance to proprietary pesticides. Of all genetically engineered seed varieties which have been tested for, just over half have been designed to be resistant to herbicides (the economic logic of which is that the appropriability characteristic of pesticides coming off-patent can effectively be extended through such means).1 As Beer (1998, 19) puts it, 'The days of seed companies selling commodity seed products that will be sprayed with pesticides marketed by a separate industry are clearly numbered.'
A general awareness of the environmental issues facing the industry is leading to exploration of technologies which, the industry argues, improve the environmental profile of agrochemical use. In addition, there is a growing emphasis on biopesticides. A recent report from Frost and Sullivan (using a broad definition which included genetically engineered crops, biopesticides - including strobilurin based fungicides - and other biocontrols) estimated that the EU market for biopesticides would increase by over 60% by 2004 (Frost and Sulivan 1997, cited in Agrow 1997).
The industry is now characterised by the dominance of large corporations with a global outlook (see Table C3.1; Koechlin and Wittke 1998). The emphasis is on widespread use of products across different regions of the globe. The increasing stringency of regulations, which might itself have driven a greater concentration in the industry (through effectively increasing entry barriers - see Ollinger and Fernandez-Cornejo 1998), has increased the costs of research and development. Several commentators have remarked upon the tension between the quest for widespread applicability (and therefore, a larger selling market) and the desirability (in environmental terms) of more pesticides which are more specific in their action.
Table C3.1: Agrochemical Sales of the Leading Companies Agrochemical Sales of the Leading Companies 1996 (1995) 1996 (1995) Agchem Sales % Change vs
Ranking Company $ Mill National Currency mill $ National
1 (-) Novartis 4,527
+4.5 +9.3 2 (2) Monsanto 2,997
+22.8 +22.8 3 (3) Zeneca 2,630
+11.3 +12.5 4 (6) Du Pont 2,472
+6.5 +6.5 5 (4) AgrEvo 2,419
+3.2 +8.4 6 (5) Bayer 2,360
+1.2 +1.9 7 (7) Rhône-Poulenc 2,210
+5.7 +4.1 8 (8) DowElanco 2,000
+1.9 +13.8 9 (9) Cynamid (AHP) 1,989
+4. +16.1 10 (10) BASF 1,541
+8.4 +10.2 11 (12) Sumitomo Chemical 698
+0.4 +16.8 12 (14) FMC 650
+10.2 +3.2 13 (15) ISK 540
+0.9 -4.1 14 (17) Rohm and Haas 514
+3.2 +24.9 15 (13) Kumiai 495
-17.1 -0.3 16 (22) Makhteshim-Agan 472
+24.9 -9.3 17 (18) Nihon Nohyaku 403
-13.7 +8.3 18 (16) Sankyo 396
-21.6 +0.2 19 (24) Uniroyal 353
+8.3 +2.8 20 (20) Hokko 352
-13.5 +3.7 21 (21) Takeda 345
-11.1 +8.0 22 (19) Nissan Chemical 345
-10.2 +43.8 23 (24) Fernz/Nufarm 323
+13.3 +9.8 24 (25) Nippon Soda 304
25 (-) Cheminova 264
Source: AGROW (1997)
N.B. Monsanto was taken over by American Home Products (AHP) early in 1998. AHP owns American Cynamid.
C3.2 Data Quality
Ideally when analysing the impact of a pesticide tax or charge, a complete set of data on pesticide use would be available. However, while in Great Britain we are in the relatively fortunate position of having good data provided by the Pesticide Use Survey (PUS), data on use levels of pesticides by active ingredient, at a European and in particular world level, tends to be more limited in scope and reliability. Furthermore, the definition of the term pesticides (and therefore, what exactly the data refers to) is not always made clear. As pointed out in the discussion concerning the scope of the economic instrument, the definition of 'pesticide' can vary across countries and contexts. In order to get a good overview of the UK pesticide industry in the world context, we have accessed a number of sources (see Appendix C.1).
C3.2.1 Pesticide Use Data
The fact that no overall body exists which collects data on world usage, means that in the presentation below, a number of sources have been used. Depending on the source, the extent of information varies depending on the sectors described (agricultural and non agricultural ) and specific information on the use of pesticides (such as for specific crops). Information on pesticide use in Europe is available from the European Commission and data on pesticide use in the US (especially for the state of California) is also available from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). At an aggregate world level however, although the FAO has data on world usage, this is incomplete. Without further investigation, it is difficult to comment on the quality of the information made available in these datasets. However, the Pesticide Use Survey is relatively unique in terms of attempts to obtain quality data on use at the national level. Commercial data for the UK is also available from Produce Studies.
C3.2.2. Pesticide Sales Data
In contrast good data on pesticide sales exists for Europe, as well the world context (partly because the industry is relatively concentrated). Data on sales is provided by organisations such as manufacturers and their representative organisations. In the UK, the chief trade body is the British Agrochemical Association (BAA). In the absence of good use data, sales information can be used as a proxy for pesticide use. Differences between sales data and use data will, however, remain and it is important to be aware of factors which may cause differences in the interpretation of the data. Most notably, the imposition of any economic instrument on pesticides would be expected to lead to some stockpiling, as was the case in Sweden (as reported by Swedish EPA 1997). Also, it is possible that domestic use or sales as recorded through official channels may underestimate the total where there are incentives to smuggle products across borders, as could happen under the imposition of a tax.
C3.3 Pesticide Sales And Use At The Global Level
It is worth considering the significance of the UK pesticides market in global terms so as to understand some of the effects that a pesticides tax/ charge might have.
C3.3.1 Pesticide Sales
World wide sales of agrochemical are estimated at US$29,530 million in 1997. Western Europe (including the UK) accounted for 27 % or US$7,400 million of the world market with sales in the UK accounting for US$793.2 million (£494.4million)2 or 3% of world sales (BAA, 19983 - see Figure C.3.1).
Figure C3.1 : UK and World Wide Pesticides Sales 1997
Source: adapted from data from BAA (1998)/Wood Mackenzie Agrochemical Services.
C3.3.2 Pesticide Use
Estimates of the use of pesticides by active ingredients can be derived from the use of FAO data, although, as has already been noted, this is not as reliable as data on the value of pesticide sales. Nevertheless as Figure C.3.2 demonstrates, the impression that global patterns of pesticide use would not be significantly altered by the effect of a pesticide tax or charge in the UK is reinforced.
C3.3.3 Pesticide Use By Product Category.
Looking at the global picture in terms of types of pesticide used, as Table C3.2 and Figure C3.3 show, herbicides account for just under half of all pesticide sales world wide with similar shares of the market in both the UK and the world. In the UK the next most important pesticide in terms of market share are fungicides followed by insecticides and other pesticides. By contrast, at the global level, the market share of insecticides is almost double that of fungicides. Again this shows the relatively small share of the global market accounted for by the UK.
Figure C3.2 : Global Pesticide Use
Source: FAO, 19984
Table C3.2: Pesticide Sales by Product Category 1995 Herbicides Insecticides Fungicides Other Total 1995 UK sales US $m 373.43 80.90 217.47 90.84 762.64 1995 World sales US $m 16237.00 12465.00 6355.00 2639.00 37696.00 UK as % of world 2.30 0.65 3.42 3.44 2.02 Source: Data from, BAA (1998) US EPA (1997)
Figure C3.3 : Pesticide sales in the UK and the World by product category as % of total, 1995
Source: Data from, BAA (1998) US EPA (1997)
C.3.4 Pesticide Use in EU Member States
EU policy on pesticides is increasingly leading to the requirement for Member States to distinguish between plant protection products and biocides, though both would be classified as pesticides under the UK definition. Data concerning the volume of crop protection products used in agriculture is available from the European Crop Protection Association (1996) and is shown in Table C3.3.
From the Table, it is clear that all EU Member States, with the exception of Ireland, Portugal and Greece, have seen the amount of pesticide use fall (measured in terms of tonnes of active ingredient) between 1990 and 1995. Key factors contributing to this trend are product innovations (lower dose formulations), innovations in application technology, changes in farm management practice (shifts to, e.g., Integrated Crop Management) and national mandatory reduction schemes, as well as payments through agri-environmental schemes (Regulation 2078/92) intended to encourage organic farming, or reduce the level of / prevent further moves towards intensification. In Spain, drought conditions are believed to have been responsible for lower levels of use, consumption increasing in 1996 following the end of drought conditions. As Brouwer and Lowe (1998) point out, the impact of these reductions in use for the environment are not entirely clear, partly because of the very issues that this project seeks to address. They state that 'In many cases what is happening is that farmers are using less of more potent products.'
Table C3.3: Voloume of crop protection products sold in the European Union (tonnes of active ingredient) Country 1985 1990 1995 Austria 4,247 3,231 Belgium 5,892 4,572 Denmark 7,152 6,244 4,911 Finland 1,893 2,007 1,047 France 98,021 97,701 84,007 Germany 30,053 29,883 25,551 Greece 7,860 8,525 Ireland 1,802 2,639 Italy 58,123 48,190 Portugal 9,355 9,712 The Netherlands 21,632 18,835 10,923 Spain 39,134 39,562 27,852 Sweden 3,660 2,344 1,224 United Kingdom 27,353 23,592 20,627 TOTAL 307,447 253,011 Source: ECPA (1996)
C3.5 Pesticides in the UK
The above Table shows that, in the UK, using the measure of tonnes of active ingredient, use has fallen by some 25% since 1985. Reasons for this include improved efficacy of applications (through use of adjuvants), improvements in application techniques, and new, more active and more specifically targeted products (Produce Studies 1996). As represented by the same measure, use in the UK is approximately 8% of the EU total, the UK being the fourth largest user of plant protection products in the EU.
However, as mentioned above, plant protection products do not show the whole picture concerning the use of pesticides. Pesticides include biocides as well as plant protection products used outside agriculture by local authorities, at the side of railways, on golf courses and in other areas. It is difficult to obtain a consistent dataset for either sales or use, in either tonnes of active ingredient or value of sales, for all purposes and classifications.
The BAA provides data which is consistent, but the BAA does not represent the entirety of the pesticide industry in the UK. UKASTA (the UK Agricultural Supply Trade Association) represents some 66 distributor companies, some of whom buy from BAA members, but some of whom also buy from parallel importers. The picture is further complicated by the fact that BAA data refer to sales at manufacturer level, whilst UKASTA figures on sales relate to sales at the retail end. Non-BAA UKASTA members' pesticide sales amounted to approximately £100 million. It is difficult to know what the value of retail sales would be without estimating mark-ups, and without knowing the extent of BAA member sales to UKASTA members (and others).
Data from the ONS is wildly at odds with the figures from both trade associations. The ONS data do not tally with the BAA or UKASTA figures, and nor do they appear to square with the data on use from the Pesticide Use Survey (from which, one can gain some knowledge of the size of the UK market). The BAA estimates that its figures refer to approximately 95% of the market. Given that this dataset is consistent, we have chosen to use it. It is shown alongside other estimates of use coming from other sources (Table C3.4).5
The significance of arable cropping for pesticide use as a whole is clear from the above. A paper by Hearn (1997) notes that of 111,000 farm holdings in Great Britain with more than 20 hectares of grass and arable crops, the typical arable farm applies some 6.5 separate crop protection brands per hectare, some of these containing more than one active ingredient. By contrast grassland farms apply less than 0.05 brands per hectare.
The Pesticide Use Survey provides data on use across Great Britain at a regional level. The old MAFF regions are used. Information is available by active ingredient but the data is restricted to agricultural use. This data is drawn upon throughout the subsequent analysis, and the 50 most used products (by area treated) are shown in Table C3.5.
Table C3.4: Figures for Pesticide use (Tons) &Sales (£m) Non-
Garden & Household Use Garden & Household Sales Industrial, Amenity
Herbicides 623 9621 2019 16.1 625 12.1 11160 205.3 Fungicides 31 6303 39 2 94 4.3 6032 147.4 Insecticides 12 1167 154 5.7 17 0.7 1055 35.5 Growth regulators 9 2582 2744 16.2 Soil sterilants 434 Molluscicides 264 140 3.2 Desiccants 32 Repellents 4 Biological control agents 2 Others 73 3.9 8 1074 43.5 Total 675 20409 2285 27.7 744 17.1 22205 451.1 Source: 1995 Produce Studies report 1997 BAA
Garden & Household
note does not include others
amenity industrial & forestry
does not include others
Agricultural & horticultural
does not include others
Table C3.5: 50 Most Widely used pesticides in the UK (by Area Treated) Formulation Method Area treated (ha) Weight applied (kg ai) Cypermethrin Spray 2,372,421 55,853 Chlormequat Spray 1,878,021 2,034,822 Isoproturon Spray 1,563,683 2,371,357 Chlorothalonil Spray 1,505,981 639,793 Diflufenican/isoproturon Spray 1,057,086 662,735 Fenpropidin Spray 1,045,437 264,621 Carbendazim Spray 925,711 203,691 Fluroxypyr Spray 842,392 104,821 Flusilazole Spray 809,648 90,564 Tebuconazole Spray 789,064 94,162 Metsulfuron-methyl Spray 765,118 3,311 Bitertanol/fuberidazole Seed Trmt 746,986 79,609 Epoxiconazole Spray 710,744 46,860 Fenpropimorph Spray 704,623 201,399 Tebuconazole/triazoxide Seed Trmt 621,209 6,231 Glyphosate Spray 601,915 487,209 Mecoprop-P Spray 557,394 368,791 Carbendazim/flusilazole Spray 543,185 94,324 Flutriafol Spray 496,556 37,357 Lambda-cyhalothrin Spray 485,072 2,445 Guazatine Seed Trmt 437,582 48,740 Cyproconazole Spray 417,703 17,857 Tebuconazole/triadimenol Spray 391,401 76,690 Fuberidazole/triadimenol Seed Trmt 390,735 28,890 Chlormequat/choline chloride Spray 351,017 449,219 Mancozeb Spray 348,021 415,039 Mecoprop Spray 339,702 374,865 Trifluralin Spray 336,747 314,200 Fludioxonil Seed Trmt 333,533 2,946 Cyproconazole/prochloraz Spray 318,543 81,552 Metaldehyde Spray 296,965 121,118 Dimethoate Spray 291,578 99,023 Fenoxaprop-P-ethyl Spray 290,069 15,347 Fenpropimorph/tridemorph Spray 287,046 85,637 Phenmedipham Spray 283,216 65,318 Metamitron Spray 282,779 239,623 Sulphur Spray 275,573 1,243,912 Pirimicarb Spray 273,173 28,948 Thiram Seed Trmt 262,196 14,497 Fenpropimorph/gamma-HCH/thiram Seed Trmt 260,358 27,687 Propiconazole Spray 259,917 20,437 Chlormequat/choline
Spray 255,934 171,274 Bromoxynil/ioxynil Spray 255,499 84,765 Isoproturon/pendimethalin Spray 251,536 418,524 Esfenvalerate Spray 247,626 927 2-chloroethylphosphonic
Spray 243,128 103,690 Chlorothalonil/flutriafol Spray 226,595 126,289 Pendimethalin Spray 222,882 177,190 Tri-allate Spray 219,597 394,575 Hymexazol Seed Trmt 199,289 13,791 Source: Pesticide Use Survey
1 A 1994 OECD study of field-testing of genetically engineered crops showed that 740 of 1257 traits tested were for herbicide resistance or tolerance (GRAIN 1994), whilst as of September 1996, 4 of 7 approved products and 6 of the 9 up for approval in the European Union were engineered for herbicide tolerance (CEC 1996). An estimated 54% of the global area planted to transgenic crops in 1997 were crops engineered for this trait (James 1997). The ability to do this may encourage the tailoring of crops to resist or tolerate broad spectrum herbicides with attendant ecological consequences.
2 Converted using average annual exchange rates.
3 Adapted from BAA data provided by Wood Mackenzie Agrochemical Service
4 Figures are based on FAO estimates. Where 1995 data was not available the nearest years figures were taken.
5 We are grateful to the BAA for their co-operation in providing us with data and details of what the data refers to.
Published 29 April 2000