China in 2014 – Multinationals' Main Destination


According to a forecast of US GfK in 2013, China’s crop protection market value (farmer level) reached $14 billion, enabling China to jump to be one of the world is most potential crop protection markets. Multinational companies have fully realized China’s strategic position in the future global agrochemical deployment. The first global registration and launch of more and more new patented products have takenplace in China. The time interval between registration and commercialization is becoming shorter than before.

A study made by AgroPages on several multinationals’ new registration and launch of formulated products over recent years reveals 2014 to be multinationals’ very active year, when a number of formulated products were registered in China. In this year, multinationals’ launch of new products has become more frequent. According to incomplete statistics, a total of 10 new products were released to market to deal with herbicide resistance as well as fruit and vegetable disease. These products represent the future development
tendency of crop protection.

Competition for herbicide resistance solution 

Statistics shows that 37 weed varieties in China have been reported to be herbicide resistant, ranking globally No.4, only next to the US, Australia and Canada.The occurrence of resistance causes additional cost to farmers, damages to ecological environment and causes to terminate the lifetime of an excellent herbicide product.

Dow AgroSciences has the opinion that whoever grasps the solution to the issue of herbicide resistance will command the future of herbicide. In March and April 2014, Dow AgroSciences registered its latest active ingredient-based formulated product (Arylex™ Active/ Halauxifenmethyl); in April as fast as possible Dow AgroSciences released to market the end-use product in the name of Quelex™(florasulam+Halauxifen-methyl) and Junction™(florasulam+fluroxypyrmeptyl), dedicated to eliminate the weed resistance for wheat.

Arylex™ Active is an herbicide active ingredient with brand-new mode of action , which effectively controls the broadleaf weed resistant to sulfonylurea, glyphosate and triazine. China is globally the first country of registration of Arylex™ Active, as well as the first country of the product launch. At present Dow AgroSciences are making researches into the Arylex™ Active based product for use in rice and fruit tree. It is expected that a series of Arylex™ Active based product will be launched in the coming 2 to 6 years.

Multinationals always take a faster move to meet the market demand. Nowadays the interval time between multinationals’ registration and launch of product becomes shorter and shorter. With the increased overuse of agrochemical product, the competition to work out solutions to weed resistance in the Chinese herbicide market is going to be more intensified.

Crop protection extended to cover crop health

Pest and weed prevention and control products can no longer fulfill the high efficient growth of crops in modern agriculture. BASF is the earliest one to come up with the crop health concept and has developed the crop health technology AgCelence, having obtained the first corn health product registration. Via the technology BASF has launched a series of crop health products including Cabrio®, Cabrio® Top, Cabrio® Team and Allergro®, which initiates a frontier crop health product portfolio.

In 2013 BASF registered in China two mixture products based on the innovative patented active ingredient - fluxapyroxad, with pyraclostrobin and epoxiconazole respectively. Fluxapyroxad is an SDHI fungicide, a new-generation fungicide following strobilurins, which is effecting faster and lasting longer than common azoles fungicide. Coming into 2014 immediately saw a couple of knock-out fungicide products in the Chinese market. BASF launched the above registered products - Merivon® (fluxapyroxad +pyraclostrobin) and Adexar®(fluxapyroxad+ epoxiconazole); the 2 products are both distinctively crop health featured. Besides the fungicidal action, Merivon® helps to elevate the quality of fruit and vegetable, enabling a nice appearance and taste. Adexar® has the advantage of fungicidal action and the function of crop health facilitation.

More importantly the products bring about a crop health philosophy, which promotes the popularity of “integrated crop solution”. Crop protection and agrochemical service no longer solely target to pest control, but would offer a package crop protection solution which takes care of the crop in the whole course to solve farmer’s problems in the entire industry chain, starting from seed breeding up to food service.

Focus on fruit and vegetable food chain

Over recent years, fruit and vegetable market segment received close attentions from multinationals. The crop protection for this sector has changed from the past prevention and control to cover the whole food chain including quality and freshness care.

In 2014 China’s fruit and vegetable fungicide market experienced a vigorous burst out. Besides the above mentioned Merivon® and Adexar® launched by BASF, Bayer CropScience also competed for the fruit and vegetable market.

In 2013 Bayer CropScience registered in China a mixture SC product based on fluopyram and trifloxystrobin to deal with the vegetable disease occurring during storage and transportation after harvesting , which is the first registered product in China against the cucumber corynespora target leaf spot. During end 2013 and early 2014, Bayer CropScience officially released the product in the name of Luna Sensation™. Different from other similar products, Luna Sensation™greatly reduces the occurrence of pest disease occurring to vegetables during storage and transportation after harvesting, this can prolong the freshness of vegetables and bring about more value to the food chain.

In 2014 Syngenta made a significant input into fruit and vegetable product. In October 2014 Syngenta’s fungicidemixture based on its latest generation SDHI active ingredient isopyrazam and azoxystrobin was registered, and was released to market in November in the name of Reflect Xtra™, being the first time launch of isopyrazam globally. The integration of isopyrazam with azoxystrobin provides a prominent crop health effect, while increase the crop yield, prolong harvesting period and facilitate economic benefit of special crops.

Increased registration of seed treatment

Global seed treatment market is presently a focus of attention. Statistics shows that the global business volume of this market sector is estimated to reach $4.45 billion by 2018. Over recent years, the growth rate of Chinese seed treatment market has exceeded 15%. Industry experts anticipates that China’s seed treatment market value will reach Yuan 2.3 billion in 2016 bearing in mind that China’s present seed treatment capacity could only meet half of the demand.

International pesticide giants are giving more input into the seed treatment researches. Seed treatment has become a hot object of registration, which will become a new source of growth for the industry. In 2014 Chinese ICAMA approved 81 seed treatment-related registrations, which are nearly doubled compared to the 43 registrations in the previous year.Among them 11 seed treatment were registered by major multinationals being fungicide and insecticide at approximately equal numbers.

Seed treating fungicide registration mostly covers patented products and staple products such as the difenoconazole and the mixture product based on difenoconazole + fludioxonil registered by the seed treatment industry leader Syngenta, as well as azoxystrobinbased 2 mixtures - azoxystrobin + metalaxyl + thiophanate-methyl and the azoxystrobin + metalaxyl + tebuconazole registered by Sipcam.

So far as seed treating insecticide is concerned, although neonicotinoids pesticide is strictly prohibited in Europe and new rules on neonicotinoids pesticide are being formulated in the US and Canada, yet China’s registrations still accommodate neonicotinoids chemical compositions. In December Syngenta registered a cyantraniliprole and thiamethoxam based mixture seed treatment insecticide for the corn protection; in April 2014 Bayer CropSciences registered the 2 mixture seed coating agents using imidacloprid as active ingredient – imidacloprid +tebuconazole and imidacloprid + fipronil, of which imidacloprid +tebuconazole was released to market in April 2015in the name of Hombre®, which not only prevents and controls over 10 pest diseases including wheat sharp eyespot, wheat smut, underground pest and aphid but also has the function
of growth regulation. In January 2014 Sipcam registered the imidacloprid seed coating agent, followed by registration of the mixture seed coating agent based on imidacloprid, difenoconazole and fludioxonil. These registrations in China by multinationals indicate that China may not take immediate and radical regulation measures against the use of the controversial neonicotinoids chemicals.