The Australian agrochemicals market is anticipated to grow at a rate of 3.5% during the forecast period (2021-2026). Post the COVID-19 health emergency, the nationwide shutdown was imposed in Australia to slow down the spread of the virus. However, the Federal Minister for Agriculture deemed Australia's food production and supply chain as an essential service, with assurances that there will be no stoppage in agricultural supply lines, transportation, and logistics, hence pesticides will continue to be delivered to farms despite state-imposed border shutdowns. Therefore, the agrochemicals market in Australia is expected to have a low impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2021.
Over the medium term, the technological innovations in the industry, pest pressures, rising use of bio-based crop solutions are expected to drive the market growth. New farming practices are being adopted by Australian farmers to increase crop yields. Additionally, the adoption of biopesticides is also emerging in the country. The growing awareness of environmental health has made these bio-based solutions increasingly popular among Australian farmers. The demand for such products is likely to drive the agrochemicals market in the country during the forecast period.
The fertilizer industry in the country has been transforming over the years, with robust growth coupled with changing crop mix trends and environmental regulations to monitor the appropriate rate of application. Urea is the widely used nitrogenous fertilizer in the country. According to Food and Agricultural organization, agricultural use of urea increased from 1,548.25 thousand metric ton to 1678.3 thousand metric ton during 2016 and 2017.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Demand for Biopesticides
Although the Biopesticide segment generated only a small fraction of the revenue generated by the chemical industry, it is likely to witness a significant CAGR during the forecast period in Australia. Given that biopesticides tend to pose fewer risks than chemical pesticides, the EPA generally requires fewer data to register a biopesticide than to register a chemical pesticide. Additionally, area under organic cultivation is also incresing in the country from 571.58 thousand hectares in 2016 to 669.92 thousand hectares in 2019. This indicates the rising demand for bio based solutions.
As a result, new biopesticides are often registered in less than a year, compared to an average of more than three years for chemical pesticides. The developing countries have simplified the requirement for the registration of biopesticides to promote the use of biopesticides. The country is also providing grants for R&D and production unit setups. All these activities are creating an opportunity for the development of the biopesticide market.
With the rising demand for biopesticides, most major crop protection companies are developing and marketing products containing non-synthetic ingredients derived from plants, microbes, or minerals.
Grains and Cereals Segment Dominate the Market by Application Type
In 2019 cereal production accounted for 2.92 million metric ton of which wheat production accounted for 1.76 million metric ton. Wheat production accounts for 70% of total cereal production in Western Australia. Among the major cereals grown in Australia which include wheat, barley, oats, canary and triticale, insects such as cutworm, armyworm, mites, heliciverpa, and aphids are commonly know pest species that cause yield loss for these crops. Therefore, insecticides are the most commonly used agrochemicals in cereals and grains in the country.
Barley like any other cereals can be damaged by a wide range of insect pests. Aphids are the primary insect pest affecting barley in the northern growing region of Australia. Research has shown that the main impact of aphids in the northern region is through their feeding activity, which reduces barley yields. Systiva, seed dressing fungicide gained APVMA approval for registration as a seed treatment fungicide in 2015. The product is registered for use on cereals in Australia, and the product has found to be very effective in disease control in southern Australia. Therefore, to reduce the infestation of diseases and pest, many farmers in Australia rely on agrochemicals to protect their crop from pests, weeds and diseases.
The Australian agrochemicals market is a fairly consolidated market based on overall market revenue in 2020. The market's major players include BASF SE, Bayer CropScience, Syngenta AG, Nufarm Ltd, and FMC Corporation, among others. Major players in the industry are heavily investing in R&D for new product launches in order to increase their market share. These companies are expanding their business activities by focusing on new product launches, partnerships, and investments which further helps the companies in enhancing their sales in the country.
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