The global market for phytosanitary products, crucial in agriculture for protecting crops, has experienced a slowdown in its growth, particularly in France where concerns over health and environmental impacts have intensified. Despite the growth deceleration, France remains a key player as the world's leading exporter of pesticides, the third largest global consumer, and the largest within Europe. Dominated by six major chemical industry giants that collectively hold 80% of the market, there is limited space for new competitors. These dominant entities continue to invest heavily in R&D to fuel innovation and sustain growth in the face of stringent regulations aimed at reducing pesticide use. Notably, French governmental goals aim to cut pesticide usage by 50% by 2025, echoing the rising regulatory pressures and environmental considerations impacting the market from 2020 onwards.

Trends in the French Plant Protection Products Market

The French plant protection products market has experienced significant growth over the years, with double-digit increases being a common occurrence. However, a shift has occurred, and the growth rate has decelerated partly due to increased public concerns over the health and environmental impacts of these products. Despite a slowing in growth, France remains a heavyweight in the global pesticide arena, boasting its standing as the world's leading exporter of these products. Additionally, it ranks as the third largest user globally and holds the position of the largest user within Europe.

Key behemoths of the chemical industry maintain a stronghold over the market, possessing approximately 80% of the global share amongst just six top-tier companies. This indicates a high level of market concentration and potentially challenging conditions for any newcomers hoping to penetrate the sector. To continue thriving in an increasingly competitive environment, existing market players are investing heavily in research and development. In an attempt to bring innovation to the forefront and mitigate some of the challenges they face, these corporations are dedicating significant portions of their budget to R&D, highlighting a commitment to grow through advancement and adaptation to market needs.

Nevertheless, these companies must navigate the complexities of stringent regulations and the ongoing scrutiny regarding the adverse impacts plant protection products have on both the environment and public health. Highlighting the concern, pesticides, along with fertilizers, are recognized as principal contributors to the agricultural sector's pollution of surface and groundwater. In response to these challenges, regulatory measures have intensified.

The French government has set an ambitious target to slash pesticide usage by 50% by the year 2025, demonstrating a clear intent to reconcile agricultural practices with environmental preservation and health protection. This sharpening of standards speaks volumes about the direction in which the market is being steered and underscores the mounting pressures faced by industry players to innovate and evolve.

Dominion of Giants: An Overview of Key Players in the Plant Protection Products Market

In the highly competitive and tightly controlled market of plant protection products, a few colossal entities tower over the industry, exercising substantial influence and shaping the agricultural landscape with their innovative and diverse product lines. These giants, constituting 80% of the world market, wield considerable power in the production and distribution of phytosanitary products essential for modern farming.

  • Firstly, we have Bayer Crop Science, a prominent name that stands out after its acquisition of Monsanto, a trailblazer known for revolutionizing the market with genetically modified seeds and the notably controversial herbicide glyphosate. Bayer Crop Science’s significant investment in research and development ensures their portfolio consistently evolves with cutting-edge solutions aimed at boosting crop efficiency and resilience, always striving to stay a step ahead in the market.
  • Syngenta, another titan in the industry, has a global presence marked by its steadfast commitment to sustainable agriculture. With its agrochemical and seed products, Syngenta focuses on innovation that underpins safety and environmental friendliness. The integration of modern biotechnology in its operations underscores its ambition to address the pressing challenges of food scarcity and climate change, while remaining attuned to market demands and regulatory rigors.
  • BASF, known for its comprehensive and diversified range of plant protection products, stands firm in the market with its commitment to scientific research and sustainable solutions. Their approach to agriculture extends beyond mere pest control, encompassing soil health and plant fertility as part of their holistic strategy for crop protection. The company's deep-rooted philosophy of balancing high crop yields with environmental conservation propels its persistent relevance in the market.
  • Dow AgroSciences, now part of Corteva Agriscience after a strategic merger, brings forward a legacy of scientific prowess blended with innovative spirit. The extensive lineup of insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides from Corteva Agriscience reflects the company's dedication to safeguarding crops and elevating agricultural productivity against a backdrop of evolving pests and diseases.
  • DuPont, another key player, though now aligned with Dow as Corteva, has pioneered market trends with its scientific breakthroughs in plant protection. DuPont's history of developing landmark products has cemented its reputation as a thought leader in the industry, fostering sustainability and efficiency in agriculture through its focused R&D efforts.
  • Lastly, Cheminova, part of the FMC Corporation, adds to the roster of formidable forces in the plant protection arena with its broad spectrum of insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Introduction

Phytosanitary products are used in agriculture to protect crops from parasites, certain insects, fungi or weeds. These products are part of the pesticide family, and must be approved in Europe with a specific authorization for each use.

The phytosanitary products market has long enjoyed double-digit growth in France, but this growth has slowed slightly since 2018 with the rise of protests and warnings of harmful health effects. On a global scale, the market is growing steadily, with an annual growth rate of 3.9% between 2022 and 2027. [Mordor Intelligence]

The crop protection market is dominated by the world's chemical giants, leaving little room for new entrants. In fact, 80% of the global crop protection market is concentrated among the industry's 6 giants. Players in the crop protection market are betting on innovation to sustain their growth, as evidenced by the increase in their R&D budgets.

The main challenge facing the crop protection market remains its harmful impact on the environment and human health : pesticides, along with fertilizers, are the two main sources of pollution of surface and ground water by the agricultural sector. By extension, the crop protection market is faced with much more restrictive regulations, as evidenced by the French government's executive decision to reduce pesticide use by 50% by 2025.

List of charts

  • Worldwide sales of crop protection products
  • Key players in the global crop protection industry
  • Change in the production price index for crop protection products
  • Evolution of the phytosanitary products price index (Insecticides, Fungicides, Herbicides)
  • Number of establishments producing plant protection products
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Latest news

Seeds: Germany's Bayer invests in Landes | Bayer invests in Landes - 04/08/2023
  • Investment of 11 million euros for new corn and rapeseed production line at Peyrehorade plant
  • Bayer invests between 30 and 50 million euros annually at its 9 French sites
  • Bayer's seed business generated sales of 465 million euros last year, i.e. around a third of sales in France
  • Acquisition of the plant when Monsanto was acquired in 2018 Employment of 200 permanent staff and 270 seasonal workers at peak times.
Novartis raises its outlook and prepares to spin off Sandoz - 18/07/2023

Spin-off and IPO of Sandoz generics division planned for early fourth quarter

Pharmaceuticals Novartis acquires US-based Chinook Therapeutics for $3.5 billion - 13/06/2023
  • Total consideration for Novartis acquisition of Chinook Therapeutics: up to $3.5 billion (€3.2 billion).
  • Chinook Therapeutics is developing two drugs in advanced clinical trials for immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy, a rare kidney disease.
  • Up to three out of ten patients with this disease progress to kidney failure and require dialysis within ten years.
Medicines: 400 jobs threatened at Novartis France - 21/01/2023
  • Novartis France employs 2,900 people
  • The French subsidiary's two plants, in Huningue (Alsace) and Les Ulis (Essonne), are not affected

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Bayer Crop Science
United Phosphorus
Adama (Syngenta)
Sumitomo ChemicalNufarm

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