Brazilian Agrochemicals Market Continues Growth in 2014

Based on Kleffmann amis®AgriGlobe® data, the Brazilian agrochemicals market reached $8.83 billion in harvest year 2013 at ex-manufactured level. In 2014 Kleffmann conducted more than 15,600 interviews in Brazil alone – covering 24 crops and 94% of cultivated area. According to most recent Kleffmann data the positive trend of the previous years also continued in 2014 – with growth ranging between 5% - 10%. 

Although Brazil has only the fourth largest crop area in the world, after India, China and USA – since 2011 it is the world’s largest agrochemicals market. Undoubtedly, at the same time it is also the most important agrochemical market in Latin America. Brazil and Argentina alone account for more than 70% of the regional agrochemicals market. 

Growth in 2014 was mainly driven by Soybean, which contributed more than 40% to the overall market value. Area gains had their share in growth, alongside other key drivers such as pest pressure from Helicoverpa and Lepidoptera – which clearly affected the input costs of the growers who had to rely on premium caterpillar products (e.g. diamides). Similar developments for the country’s other key crops also contributed to the overall positive market development in 2014. The country’s four main crops contributed more than 60% of the market value. 

Compared to 2013, the cotton area in 2014 expanded considerably. As cotton in Brazil is a chemically- intensive crop, the expansion in area leads to an exponential growth in the use of agrochemicals. While sugarcane is not a profitable crop in Brazil, the expenditures nonetheless kept increasing. Since the country imposed a ban on burning sugarcane for harvesting purposes, the overall farmer expenditures on inputs have surged. 

As far as the segment-wise importance for the agrochemical market in 2014 is concerned, insecticides have shown a strong growth, clearly surpassing 10%. This extraordinary growth was mainly driven by the increased pest pressure – coming from larger caterpillars. Major insect pests in 2014 were Chrysodeixes (=Pseudoplusia) includens and Helicoverpa spp., clearly growing in importance. 

With more than 30%, Herbicides constituted the second largest share in the Brazilian agchem market. Bindens pilosa, Digitaria horizontalis, and Conyza spp. were responsible for the growth in the herbicide segment in 2014. The main active ingredient in 2014 was the herbicide glyphosate, with more than 10% of the market, and represented the only herbicide in the top ranked co-formulations. 

Strobilurin co-formulations, making up the largest share in the Brazilian fungicide market, carried the growth in the fungicides sector in 2014.

Table 1. Top 10 active ingredients sold in Brazil in 2014

Figure 1. Crop importance (based in value)

Figure 2. Companies market share in Brazil

In 2014 the big MNCs, among them, took 70% of the total market share, followed by other international players such Ihara and FMC.

For 2015, a reduction in the Summer Maize area in the favor of Soybean is expected. Furthermore, it is anticipated that the selective herbicides market will see a decline, benefitting the glyphosate market. Looking forward, diamides can be expected to grow in importance due to efficiency losses in old Bt GMOs. Last but not least, the introduction of Intacta is set to show its impacts on the soybean agrochemical market in the coming years.

William Marcel de Abreu
Data Support Analyst LATAM