The South Korea Crop Protection Chemicals Market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 3.45% during the forecast period (2020-2025). In South Korea, crops such as rice, vegetables, soybean, and other oilseeds, and fruits and vegetables consume the bulk of crop protection chemicals. South Korea is a mountainous country with less than 22% of the land area available as arable land. Hence, the emphasis of Korean farmers has been on maximizing the productivity per unit of land and efficient crop protection solutions play an important role in this. Rising wages are another challenge impacting Korean agriculture, which again puts the emphasis on cost optimization.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Use of Microbial Pesticide
The growing emphasis on environmental sustainability has prompted the South Korean government to enforce clean production and Environment-Friendly Agriculture (EFA) policies, which has led to a decline in usage of synthetic crop protection chemicals in the country. The government has encouraged the use of microbial pesticides, the market for which is projected to grow at a rapid rate over the forecast period.
Microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, virus or protozoans constitute the active ingredients in microbial pesticides. Each organism that constitutes the active ingredient has its own specific target pest. The strains of Bacillus thuringiensis, and its subspecies are the most extensively used bio-pesticides. This demand has led to an increase in the number of registered microbial pesticides in South Korea, driving not just the biopesticide market, but also the overall crop protection chemical market.
Insecticides - The Largest Segment
The use of agricultural pesticides in South Korea had been on a rise from 1970 to 1990 but gradually declined since 2001. The rise in the use of pesticides has been on a high, where the total volume of pesticides used was 19,482 tons in 2015 and increased to 19,798 tons in 2016. Insect pests are a serious threat to agriculture. Insects cause nearly 14% of the global crop loss, and 20% stored food damage. The estimated loss caused by insects is estimated to be USD 100 billion each year. Therefore, the insecticides form the major segment in South Korea owing to a usage rise in volume from 6,274 tons in 2015 to 7,092 tons in 2016 to control the rise in crop damage by insect pests. The insecticide segment registers the highest agricultural use share of 43.4% in the year 2018.
The South Korea Crop Protection Chemicals Market is fairly consolidated, with a few companies holding the majority of the shares in the market. In the fast-growing market, companies are not only competing on the basis of product quality or product promotion but are also focused on making other strategic moves, to acquire greater market share and expand their acquired market size. In January 2019, BASF made an agreement with NongHyup Chemical Co., Ltd. and Sungbo Chemicals Co., Ltd. whereby both the companies will manufacture and distribute BASF's non-selective herbicide BASTA to the Korean farmers to improve the productivity of the crops.
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