Overview

  • China’s pesticide output skyrocketed from less than 1 million MTs in 2004 to 3.7 million MTs in 2014 due to a variety of government policies, including an export tax rebate program that made its products more competitive in the international market
  • In 2016, the eastern provinces of Jiangsu and Shandong accounted for more than 50% of China’s pesticide output, with the former province being the industry’s top producer
  • From 2014 to 2016, China instituted a series of modernization and environmental initiatives that caused a decline in the country’s pesticide output in 2017 and 2018
  • In May 2017, DuPont was given notice to divest from its Chinese chlorantraniliprole assets (among other pesticides) as a condition of Chinese approval for the Dow-DuPont megamerger. A relatively new pesticide product, chlorantraniliprole has seen strong market growth with global sales rising from USD 200 million in 2009 to USD 1.24 billion in 2013
  • In June 2017, ChemChina, a state-owned enterprise, completed its acquisitions of Israel’s Adama Agricultural Solutions and Switzerland’s Syngenta AG, to become Asia’s largest agrochemical company
  • In January 2018, China Pesticide Industry Association (CCPIA) forecasted that glyphosate, acetochlor, atrazine, butachlor, carbendazim, chlorothalonil, copper(II) sulfate, dichlorvos, thiosultap-disodium, and trichlorfon would be the most in demand pesticides in the mainland for that year

Introduction

One of the pillars of industrial farming, pesticides have developed into an indispensable agricultural pest management tool for farmers who wish to protect their crops and livestock from harmful organisms. The evolution of pesticides has not always been a smooth and straight path. Prior to World War II, the “first generation” of pesticides were highly toxic chemicals (e.g. arsenic, lead, mercury) that typically persisted and accumulated in the soil, damaging farmland fertility. During the 1940s, a “second generation” of synthetic chemical pesticides appeared, with the highly toxic insecticide DDT (invented in 1939) being the earliest and most well-known example. The chemical roadmap laid out with DDT’s discovery opened the flood gates as agrochemical companies jockeyed to develop, patent, and market new synthetic pesticides. During the 1950s and early 1960s, there was a deluge of new pesticide products, including the herbicides atrazine (1958), dicamba (1958), and paraquat (1962). Farmers were quick to take advantage. From 1952 to 1982, U.S. corn farmers increased their herbicide usage from just 11% of acreage to 95% of corn acreage. During roughly the same time period, insecticide usage began to decline owing to the introduction of new pyrethroid insecticides, which were much more efficient than traditional insecticides and required less spraying. In addition, farmers began implementing integrated pest management (IPM) practices that emphasized “control” and not “eradication” of insect pests. By the 1980s, genetically modified (GM) crops, which included natural insecticidal properties such as Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), began to be developed. The growth of GM technology had the dual effect of eroding insecticide demand via the introduction of Bt crops, but also mitigating against these losses somewhat through the introduction of herbicide-resistant GM crops. From the mid-1990s onwards, the adoption and widespread cultivation of herbicide-resistant GM crops strengthened and solidified demand for herbicides over all other pesticide products.

In 2016, the global herbicide market was valued at approximately USD 23.9 billion, or roughly half of the total pesticide market of USD 49.9 billion. Glyphosate, an herbicide developed by the U.S.’s Monsanto Company (acquired by Germany’s Bayer in June 2018), accounted for roughly a 30% share of the herbicide market. Glyphosate dominates the market due to the proliferation of genetically modified (GM) soybeans, corn, canola, cotton, and wheat which have built-in glyphosate resistance. Essentially, farmers can safely apply glyphosate to their land without fear of crop damage. Despite having a strict ban on the commercial cultivation of GM soybeans, corn, canola, and wheat (GM cotton is permitted), China accounted for roughly 70% of the world’s glyphosate production in 2016. Due to the ban on GM crop cultivation, the bulk of China’s glyphosate production is exported to the global breadbaskets of Brazil, the U.S., and Argentina. Overall, glyphosate is just one of hundreds of pesticides that China mass produces for both the domestic and international markets. In this report ChinaAg will investigate China’s pesticide sector as a whole, including a target analysis of more than 30 specific pesticides of critical market importance.

Pesticide Types

Chinese pesticide production can be broken down according to four different types: herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and other pesticides. Generally speaking, herbicides are used to control invasive weeds that not only compete with crops for water, direct sunlight, soil nutrients, and root space, but also act as vectors of dangerous plant pathogens. Insecticides, as the name implies, are used to kill insects while fungicides are used to kill parasitic fungi that can infect and damage a plant’s vascular system including its roots, leaves, and stem. Controlling insects is particularly important since these pests not only feed on crops, but also spread destructive plant diseases. Aphids alone are vectors for more than 150 plant viruses. Lastly, the other pesticides category includes acaricides (kills ticks, mites), molluscicides (snails, slugs), nematicides (nematode worms), rodenticides (rats, mice), fumigants, and plant growth regulators (aka plant hormones). Regardless of type, Chinese production primarily focuses on off-patent technical[1] pesticides (patents expire after 20 years) that were originally developed by major U.S. and European agrochemical companies.

Government Support & Production Growth

From 2004 to 2009, Chinese pesticide production rapidly grew from approximately 869,300 MTs to 2.26 million MTs, equating to an average annual growth rate of 21%. The primary instigators behind this growth were herbicides, which saw their production volumes rise from 229,800 MTs to 815,900 MTs (29% annual growth). Insecticides and fungicides also saw increased output, with average annual growth rates of 14% and 22%, respectively. The factors behind the rapid rise of Chinese pesticide production during the mid-2000s were manifold. First, in October 1996, the State Council published a White Paper laying out a new policy of grain self-sufficiency. In essence, Chinese corn, rice, and wheat farmers were tasked with guaranteeing a grain self-sufficiency rate of more than 95%, with net imports comprising the remaining 5% share of supply. Agrochemicals such as pesticides would be needed to increase grain yields to meet this target. However, grain subsidies during the late 1990s and early 2000s were inefficient and costly, and typically benefited distributors more than farmers themselves. By 2003, China’s grain area dipped below 100 million hectares for the first time in the post-Mao era. To counter this decline, in 2004, the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee (CCPCC) and the State Council released (the first of many) its No.1 Central Document supporting the agriculture sector. The document eased the financial burden of grain farmers by establishing direct subsidies and phasing out burdensome agricultural taxes by 2006. A byproduct of these policy changes was an increase in farmers’ disposable incomes, which made agriculture inputs, such as pesticides, more affordable.



Despite these positive financial changes, the market itself became saturated with a host of competing pesticide products and low quality counterfeits. In 2005 alone, there were approximately 2,600 pesticide factories that released roughly 2,500 new pesticide products with temporary registration certificates. The breadth of choice meant farmers had great difficulty discerning which products to buy and how to effectively apply them on their crops. At the same time, market competition was such that pesticide companies encouraged farmers to carryout multiple applications to spur repeat business and strengthen their bottom line. Underlying all of this was the production and sale of illicit counterfeit pesticides. Founded in 1963, The Institute for the Control of Agrochemicals, Ministry of Agriculture (ICAMA) is the government agency tasked with registering pesticides for market distribution. ICAMA’s registration process requires time and money, twin burdens that certain pesticide producers preferred to circumvent. The result was often fake or low quality pesticide mixtures released into the market. In 2007, a representative of the Singaporean non-profit association, Croplife Asia, estimated that roughly 20% of pesticides sold in China were fake. Farmers implicitly understood these market realities and overused pesticides as a means to compensate for potential low quality counterfeits. An end result of these market information asymmetries were increased domestic demand and output.

Apart from strong domestic demand, pesticide producers and exporters were beneficiaries of significant financial support from the national government in the form of a tax rebate program. In 2004, the Ministry of Finance, the General Administration of Customs, and the State Administration of Taxation jointly eliminated value-added taxes (VAT) on 48 pesticide products and replaced them with an 11% export tax rebate. The purpose of the export tax rebate program was to allow Chinese pesticides to enter the international market tax-free and outcompete foreign competitors on price. In essence, China would grow its export market share and accumulate foreign exchange earnings through the rebate program. Furthermore, the program was designed to stimulate production of less toxic value-added pesticides by granting those products an export tax rebate, while excluding toxic “first generation” pesticides. As it happened, the initiation of the tax rebate program coincided with an increase in international demand for glyphosate, an herbicide whose final patent (owned by Monsanto Company) expired in September 2000. China’s pesticide industry specialized in producing off-patent pesticides due to the country’s lack of innovation, cheap labor, abundant capital, and relative lax environmental standards. Glyphosate going off-patent opened the door for a lucrative Chinese export trade to the U.S. In 2003, glyphosate-resistant GM soybeans accounted for 80% the U.S.’s total soybean crop. By 2008, this percentage had surpassed 90%. Consequently, from 2004 to 2008, ChinaAg estimates[2] that China’s glyphosate exports to the U.S. increased from approximately 7,545 MTs to 121,030 MTs, or by roughly 1,500%. Argentina, also a major grower of glyphosate-resistant GM crops, saw similar growth with imports from China rising from roughly 11,170 MTs to 109,990 MTs (885% increase) over the same period. Unfortunately, good times never last and the shock of the 2008 global financial crisis was beginning to ripple across the mainland.

Economic Recession & Market Recovery

As with most industries, the global financial crisis of 2008 negatively impacted China’s pesticide industry both in terms of production and trade. In 2008, Chinese pesticide production volumes recorded just 10% year-on-year growth, well below the 26% averaged over the previous three years. In terms of trade, herbicide exports notched just 6% growth, markedly lower than the average 13% growth recorded the previous three years. For publicly traded pesticide companies on China’s Shanghai and Shenzhen-based stock exchanges, the economic downturn eroded share prices by an average of -50% to -70%. On the Shanghai Stock Exchange, in 2008, major pesticide producers such as Wynca (SHA:600596), Jiangsu Yangnong (SHA:600486), and Nantong Jiangshan (SHA:600389) saw their share prices plummet by -70%, -65%, and -73%, respectively. On the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, Lier Chemical (SHE:002258), Shenzhen Noposion (SHE:002215), Lianhe Chemical (SHE:002250), and Nanjing Red Sun (SHE:000525) saw their share prices drop by -62%, -57%, -48%, and -68%, respectively. Shenzhen Noposion (February 2008), Lianhe Chemical (June 2008), and Lier Chemical (July 2008) had the unfortunate luck of having their initial public offerings (IPO) during the 2008 financial crisis, destroying any financial gains they would have received under normal market conditions. However, due to the low starting position of their share prices, all three of these companies exhibited the strongest share price growth in 2009 as the market recovered somewhat on the back of rising export tax rebates.



China’s tax rebate program, a systematic form of export management, was heavily manipulated during the financial crisis. In July 2008, China tightened its fiscal belt and canceled export tax rebates for approximately 75 pesticides including methyl bromide (a highly toxic fumigant that was being phased out globally), diphacinone-sodium (a rodenticide), and methomyl (an insecticide), but left glyphosate’s rate untouched. From August 2008 to June 2009, China changed tack and raised export tax rebates seven times on a wide variety of consumer and industrial goods. In June 2009, China raised the rebate for pesticides including the acaricide dicofol (rebate raised to 9%), the insecticide carbofuran (raised to 13%), and biopesticides that incorporate plant extracts (raised to 15%). In November 2009, China continued to promote pesticide exports by increasing the rebate for a variety of products including the acaricide aramite (5% to 9%), the insecticide chlorethoxyfos (5% to 9%), and glyphosate (5% to 9%). China’s 2009 policy decision to increase export tax rebates for pesticides was a net positive for the industry, as the aforementioned Shanghai and Shenzhen listed agrochemical companies all recorded share price gains that year. By June 2010, the Chinese economy had recovered enough for the government to eliminate export tax rebates on approximately 60 pesticides, including glyphosate. Accordingly, in 2010, China’s pesticide production volumes grew by only 4% (2.26 million MTs to 2.34 million MTs), while publicly listed agrochemical companies mostly recorded share price losses of -10% to -25%. In spite of the slowdown, Chinese production began to rebound as the global financial crisis receded and a new pro-pesticide initiative was launched.

In 2012, China unveiled its “one spray, three protections” program to improve wheat yields in 11 provinces by spraying a cocktail of insecticides, fungicides, plant growth regulators, and fertilizers. The pesticides portion of the “one spray” included the fungicides of carbendazim, triadimefon, diniconazole and thiophanate-methyl, as well as the insecticides of acetamiprid, beta-cypermethrin, and imidacloprid. In 2012 and 2013, the government allocated approximately CNY 1.6 billion (~USD 243 million) and 1.7 billion (~USD 275 million) for the program, respectively. According to China’s Ministry of Agriculture, the program helped boost the country’s wheat yields by an estimated 3.5%. In terms of output, from 2011 to 2014, Chinese wheat production grew from 117.4 million MTs to 126.2 million MTs. Over the same time period, China’s pesticide output rose from 2.64 million MTs to 3.74 million MTs, equating to an average annual growth rate of 14%. As it would turn out, 2014 would be the industry’s high-water mark as environmental and modernization initiatives began to take hold.

Environmental & Modernization Initiatives

In April 2014, the National People’s Congress (NPC) passed an Environmental Protection Law that promoted “integrated plant pest management” to “rationally apply” pesticides when appropriate. The law, enacted in January 2015, laid the foundation for future environmental reforms that would rein in Chinese production and consumption. In March 2015, China’s Ministry of Agriculture launched an “Action Program for Zero Growth of Pesticide Utilization by 2020”. Based on the program, China sought to institute more efficient pest management practices. In addition, highly toxic pesticides would be phased out in favor of biopesticides and other more environmentally-friendly synthetic chemicals. A month after the MOA’s “zero growth” announcement, China’s State Council published its “Water Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan”. The plan focused on decreasing water pollution in key river systems, improving the quality of urban drinking water, and repairing environmental damage along coastal areas. Pesticide factories located in coastal areas and near river systems were faced with the prospect of shuttering and relocating. For instance, in May 2018, chemical industrial parks located in the coastal cities of Lianyungang, Nantong, and Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, were classified by the government as “prohibited projects” that should be “phase[d] out”. Finally, in May 2016, the State Council published its “Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan” which banned the use of highly toxic pesticides in forests, grassland, and garden plots. Similar to previous plans, it emphasized that pesticides should be “applied in a scientific way” and that the biopesticides should be promoted over more toxic synthetic pesticides.

These top down initiatives had their desired effect as production remained flat at roughly 3.7 million MTs throughout 2014 to 2016. This stagnation occurred despite China increasing its export tax rebate to 13% for 481 technical pesticides in December 2014. The fact that only “pure” technical pesticides received higher export tax rebates, while formulations remained at 5%, has likely hurt China’s industry as a whole. This is because foreign companies can import inexpensive technical pesticides, reprocess them as high-value formulations, and then re-export them to China (and elsewhere) at a profit. China was essentially favoring its technical pesticide companies at the expense of its formulation producers. Furthermore, this rebate policy was at odds with the government’s own environmental initiatives as technical pesticides are typically more toxic, and its production process less eco-friendly, than ready-for-retail formulations. In May 2016, partly as a response to these conflicting policies, China announced via its 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) that it would seek to reduce the number of Chinese technical pesticide producers by 30% and transition 80% of its technical production capacity to three to five industrial parks by 2020. On top of this, China hopes to streamline the industry by having five pesticide companies with an annual sales volume of at least ~USD 760 million and 30 companies with an annual sales volume of at least ~USD 300 million. Apart from the Five Year Plan, in April 2017, China’s Crop Protection Industry Association announced it would work towards increasing the export tax rebate for pesticide formulations. In 2017, these reforms began to reverberate throughout the industry as Chinese pesticide production dipped below 3 million MTs for the first time since 2011 and was projected to decline further in 2018. For the majority of Chinese agrochemical companies, the future was more about survival than growth.

National Champion & Contenders

In April 2015, the Chinese government announced it was mulling merging 111 state-owned-enterprises (SOEs) across a variety of industries into 40 “national champions” that would potentially not only dominate the domestic market, but capture global market share as well. Managed by the State Council’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), these SOEs primarily operate in the country’s energy, telecommunications, transportation, chemicals and agricultural sectors. By the end of 2017, the number of SOEs under SASAC control had shrunk to 96 and had collective assets worth an estimated CNY 50 trillion (~USD 7.1 trillion). Among these eight dozen SOEs, only China National Chemical Corporation (aka ChemChina) could be considered a true national champion of China’s agrochemical sector.



Originally operating as a chemical processing and petrochemical refining enterprise, ChemChina has rapidly expanded its agrochemical portfolio since 2011 through a series of international mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Key among these M&A was the integration of Israel’s Adama Agricultural Solutions (formerly Makhteshim Agan Industries or MAI) with Hubei Sanonda (SHE:200553), a Shenzhen listed subsidiary of ChemChina’s China National Agrochemical Corporation (CNAC). In 2011, CNAC acquired a 60% share in MAI, a producer of off-patent pesticides. In 2013, the integration process continued when MAI acquired a 10.6% stake in Hubei Sanonda, itself a major producer[3] of off-patent pesticides including glyphosate, paraquat, and acephate. In mid-2014, MAI, along with its international subsidiaries, were rebranded as ‘Adama’ or the Hebrew word for “Earth”, a signifier of not only the company’s farmland foundations, but also its global ambitions. In August 2015, Hubei Sanonda suspended trading of its shares after announcing its formal takeover, via a reverse merger, of Adama Agricultural Solutions. ChemChina had hoped to list the new combined company on the New York Stock Exchange, but retreated for undisclosed reasons and opted instead to piggyback on Hubei Sanonda’s Shenzhen listing (though operating under the “ADAMA” brand). In July 2016, ChemChina announced it had reached a deal to acquire the remaining 40% share of Adama Agricultural Solutions, cementing its total control over the agrochemical giant. By the end of 2016, Adama Agricultural Solutions reported USD 2.87 billion in sales, making it the largest Asian-controlled agrochemical company and overall the seventh largest in the world. Leading the pack with USD 9.57 billion in sales (excludes GM seeds sales) was Switzerland’s Syngenta AG, an agrochemical company whose product portfolio not only included lucrative under patent pesticides, but also GM seed technology that underpinned much of the U.S., Brazilian, and Argentine corn and soy production.

In mid-2015, Syngenta was under pressure from its shareholders to accept a merger agreement from Monsanto Company, then ranked the fifth largest agrochemical company in the world. Monsanto’s buy-out offers were substantial. In May 2015, Syngenta rejected a USD 45 billion offer that valued the company at CHF 449 (~USD 447) per share, a 25% to 55% markup of Syngenta’s (VTX:SYNN) value as its share price fluctuated between CHF 287 and CHF 359 during January 2014 and April 2015. In June 2015, Syngenta attempted to assuage Syngenta’s regulatory concerns by adding an additional USD 2 billion payment if the merger failed to go through. Despite this assurance, Syngenta management remained unmoved. On August 24th, Monsanto made its final offer of USD 47 billion (CHF 470 per share) and upped its security payment to USD 3 billion if the deal failed. Two days later Monsanto formally withdrew its takeover offer as Syngenta refused to budge. The CEO of Syngenta infamously opined in July 2015, “We said no in 2011, we said no in 2012, we said no in 2015. What part of no don’t they understand?”. Despite this cri de coeur, within following six months not only would the CEO step down due to shareholder anger, but Syngenta would agree to a buyout offer from ChemChina for USD 43 billion. So what changed?

In December 2015, Dow Chemical announced it would be merging with DuPont to form DowDuPont, a massive company that would have an estimated value of USD 130 billion. Syngenta understood that it would have to merge with a rival company if it hoped to remain competitive globally. In addition, it should be noted that during the 2015 Monsanto-Syngenta negotiation process, Monsanto received financial advice from the U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley. By coincidence, in May 2017, Morgan Stanley was the only non-Chinese company involved in ChemChina’s successful USD 20 billion round of financing when it loaned USD 2 billion thru convertible preferred shares (i.e. corporate fixed-income securities that could be converted into stock). In June 2017, ChemChina had completed its acquisition of Syngenta, while Monsanto, a one-time contender for control of Syngenta, would find itself being bought out by Germany’s Bayer exactly one year later. ChemChina had proven itself a true “champion”.

Outside of ChemChina, there is a long list of Chinese agrochemical companies competing for the number two spot including Nutrichem Company, Shandong Weifang Rainbow Chemical, Sichuan Leshan Fuhua Tongda Agro-chemical Technology, Nanjing Red Sun (SHE:000525), Zhejiang Xinan Chemical Industrial (Wynca), and Jiangsu Yangnong Chemical (SHA:600486). In 2016, each of these companies recorded less than USD 700 million in agrochemical sales, though in 2017, Beijing’s Nutrichem Company was able to surpass USD 800 million in sales. Nutrichem Company, a subsidiary of Huapont Life Sciences (SHE:002004), has strong business ties[4] with Dow Agrosciences, as well as with China’s top pesticide formulation producer, Shenzhen Noposion Agrochemicals[5] (SHE:002215). In 2017, Nutrichem was domestically China’s top technical pesticide producer by value, followed by Shandong Weifang Rainbow Chemical, Nanjing Red Sun (SHE:000525), Jiangsu Yangnong Chemical (SHA:600486), Sichuan Leshan Fuhua Tongda Agro-chemical Technology, and Zhejiang Xinan Chemical Industrial (Wynca). In 2016, these six agrochemical companies were also China’s leading pesticide exporters, with Sichuan Leshan Fuhua Tongda Agro-chemical Technology being China’s top glyphosate exporter (by value).

Regional Production & Usage

In January 2018, ChemChina’s ADAMA (i.e. Adama Agricultural Solutions and Hubei Sanonda) inaugurated a new pesticide formulation facility in Huai’an Modern Industrial Park[6], Jiangsu Province. Logistically, the province was the ideal choice since it is home to the Port of Nanjing and located near the key international ports of Shanghai and Yangshan, But ChemChina is not alone in Jiangsu. Of the 61 Chinese agrochemical companies ChinaAg analyzed for this report, Jiangsu hosted the largest number of corporate headquarters with 16 companies (26% of all companies). The provinces with the next largest shares were Jiangsu’s southern and northern neighbors of Zhejiang (11 companies or 18%) and Shandong (9 companies or 15%).



In 2016, Jiangsu Province accounted for approximately 32%, or 1.19 million MTs, of China’s total pesticide output. The next largest regional producers were Shandong (24% of total output), Henan (8%), Hubei (7%), and Zhejiang (7%).  In 2016, Jiangsu Province was the top producer of insecticides, fungicides, and the other pesticides category, as well as the second largest producer of herbicides. Nanjing Red Sun (SHE:000525) and Jiangsu Yangnong Chemical (SHA:600486) are major Jiangsu-based producers. Shandong Province was the largest herbicide producer, second largest insecticide producer, and third largest other pesticides producer. Shandong Weifang Rainbow Chemical is the leading Shandong-based company. Henan Province was China’s second largest producer of other pesticides, but it is not a major producer of traditional plant protection products. Hubei Province was the third largest producer of herbicides and insecticides, with Hubei Sanonda (SHE:200553) being the leading Hubei-based company. Zhejiang Province was the third largest fungicide producer and fifth largest producer of herbicides and insecticides, with Zhejiang Xinan Chemical Industrial, aka Wynca (SHA:600596), being the leading Zhejiang-based company.

In 2016, herbicides accounted for 47% of China’s total pesticide output by volume and 41% of the country’s total sales by value. Corn and rice combined for 40% of the country’s herbicide sales, followed by fruits and vegetables (excluding grapes and pome fruits) with 14% of sales, cereals (e.g. wheat, barley, sorghum etc.) with 13% of sales, and soybeans with 9% of sales. For corn and rice, atrazine, acetochlor, nicosulfuron, butachlor, and glyphosate were key herbicides that drove commercial sales. Insecticides accounted for 13% of China’s total pesticide output, but a relatively high 35% of its total sales. Rice comprised 28% of total insecticide sales, followed by fruits and vegetables (26%), cereals (10%), cotton (9%), and corn (6%). For rice, chlorpyrifos, imidacloprid, chlorantraniliprole, dichlorvos, and thiamethoxam were key insecticides that drove commercial sales. Fungicides accounted for 5% of China’s total pesticide output, but a relatively high 22% of sales. Fruits and vegetables accounted for 34% of all insecticide sales, followed by cereals (19%) and rice (16%). For cereals and rice, triadimefon, tricyclazole, thiophanate-methyl, trifloxystrobin, and azoxystrobin were key fungicides that spurred commercial sales. Finally, other pesticides accounted for 34% of China’s total pesticide output, but just 2% of its sales. As with fungicides, fruits and vegetables (33%), cereals (23%), and rice (9%) comprised the top three crop markets for the other pesticides category.

Chiral Pesticides: Same Atoms, Different Structure, Unique Properties

A chiral pesticide is a chemical compound that contains a chiral center or central atom that is asymmetrically attached to four different types of atoms or atom groups. In general, the central atom is typically a carbon (C) atom, though other atoms such as sulfur (S) and Phosphorus (P) can also act as chiral centers. Chiral pesticides are special because the atoms or atom groups attached to the central chiral atom can be restructured to produce different pest toxicities and environmental effects. Essentially it’s the same chemical, but with variations in structure and properties. These chemically identical but differently structured compounds are called isomers. The number of isomers a pesticide can have increases by a factor of two for every additional chiral center within the chemical compound. One chiral center equates to two isomers, while two chiral centers equates to four unique isomers. The insecticide cypermethrin for instance has three chiral centers, meaning that it has eight isomers. Cypermethrin (C-center) itself is an ‘unresolved’ (i.e. not chemically restructured) isomeric mixture, while beta-cypermethrin consisting of a group of four ‘resolved’ isomers. In addition to cypermethrin, other widely produced chiral insecticides include fipronil (S-center), acephate (P-center), and cyhalothrin (C-center). As of 2012, approximately 30% of the world’s pesticides were chiral, with insecticides (34%) comprising the highest share, followed by herbicides (27%), and fungicides (18%).


For the remainder of this report, ChinaAg will analyze 34 unique herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides of critical market importance to China’s agriculture sector. Each of these market snapshots contains information relating to the pesticide’s crop applications, status in the European Union (i.e. banned, permitted, or partial ban), sales figures, prices, key Chinese manufacturers, main export markets, and any relevant intelligence that could impact its supply or demand.


HERBICIDES

2,4-D (2,4-滴)

  • Applications: Cereals, Corn, Soybeans, Turf Grass
  • EU Status: Permitted
  • ChinaAg Comment: 2,4-D was one-half of the formulation used to produce Agent Orange, a herbicide and defoliant released by the U.S. during the Vietnam War

Summary: 2,4-D is a phenoxyacetic herbicide use to control broadleaf weeds on cereals, corn, soybeans, and other crops. 2,4-D also has non-agriculture applications including controlling invasive weeds in home garden and turf grass areas. In 2012, according to ICAMA, China exported USD 143 million worth of 2,4-D, making it the sixth most exported pesticide by value. At the time, Shandong Weifang Rainbow Chemical, Jiangsu Huifeng Bio Agriculture (SHE:002496), and Changzhou Wintafone Chemical accounted for 83% of China’s 2,4-D production capacity. In 2015, 2,4-D was globally one of the most used herbicides to treat cereals and soybeans. In 2016, 2,4-D was widely applied to Chinese cereals, with that market totaling USD 14.7 million in sales, followed by corn (USD 14.3 million) and soybeans (USD 6 million). During the same year, Argentina was a major export market for Chinese 2,4-D producers, while Russia and Australia were major export markets for 2,4-D-2-ethylhexyl (2,4-滴异辛酯), a derivative herbicide of 2,4-D. It should be noted that 2,4-D comprised one-half of the Agent Orange formulation used by the U.S. during the Vietnam War. However, it was the other half of the formulation, 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), that was primary culprit behind the destructive health effects suffered by the Vietnamese people.  In February 2017, Vietnam officially banned 2,4-D herbicide over health safety concerns.


Acetochlor (乙草胺)

  • Applications: Corn (primary), Soybeans
  • EU Status: Banned
  • ChinaAg Comment: After atrazine, acetochlor was China’s second most used herbicide on corn (USD 68.9 million sales volume) in 2016

Summary: Originally developed by Monsanto and Zeneca Ag Products, acetochlor is a chloroacetanilide herbicide used to control annual grasses, broadleaf weeds and yellow nutsedge on corn, sorghum, cotton, fruits, potatoes, canola, soybeans, sunflower, vegetables, and sugar beet crops. Acetochlor was used as a substitute for Syngenta’s atrazine, which was banned by the EU in October 2003. However, in December 2011, the EU announced it would ban acetochlor due to concerns over groundwater contamination and its harmful impact on aquatic life. In China, the herbicide remained popular and was the second (~130,000 MTs per year) most widely used herbicide in 2009. In 2015, acetochlor was globally one of the most used herbicides to treat corn. In 2016, acetochlor was widely applied to Chinese corn, with that market totaling USD 68.9 million in sales, followed by soybeans (USD 13 million) and potatoes (USD 390,000). As of 2017, acetochlor was still in high demand in China and was forecasted by the China Pesticide Industry Association (CCPIA) to be one of the top four most in demand herbicides in 2018. In early 2018, the price of acetochlor in China was approximately CNY 27,500 (~USD 4,300) per MT. Major Chinese producers of acetochlor include Nantong Jiangshan Agrochemical & Chemicals (SHA:600389) and Jiangsu Changlong Chemicals.


Alachlor (甲草胺)

  • Applications: Corn, Cereals, Oilseeds, etc.
  • EU Status: Banned
  • ChinaAg Comment: In January 2008, Sinochem purchased Monsanto’s butachlor and alachlor assets in seven Asian countries and was entitled to the trademark of “Alachlor” in China (as of mid-2018)

Summary: Originally developed by Monsanto, alachlor is a chloroacetanilide herbicide that is used to control annual grasses and broadleaf weeds on corn, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower, peanuts, and cotton. In 2006, the EU banned alachlor due to health and environmental concerns. In January 2008, Monsanto sold its butachlor and alachlor businesses in India, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh to China’s Sinochem Group. In 2017, according to the CCPIA, alachlor was in high demand in China. Major Chinese producers of alachlor include Shandong Weifang Rainbow Chemical, Nantong Jiangshan Agrochemical & Chemicals (SHA:600389), and Nutrichem Company.


Atrazine (莠去津)

  • Applications: Corn (primary), Sorghum, Sugarcane, Vegetables, Turf Grass
  • EU Status: Banned
  • ChinaAg Comment: Atrazine has historically (as of 2018) been the second most used herbicide in the United States after glyphosate and a source of groundwater contamination

Summary: Atrazine is a chlorotriazine herbicide use to control broadleaf weeds and grasses on corn, sorghum, sugarcane, asparagus, pineapples, and other crops. In 2012, according to ICAMA, China exported USD 192 million worth of atrazine, making it the fourth most exported pesticide by value. At the time, Shandong Weifang Rainbow Chemical, Zhejiang Zhongshan Chemical, and Shandong Binnong Technology accounted for more than 80% of China’s atrazine production capacity. In 2015, atrazine was globally one of the most used herbicides to treat corn. In 2016, atrazine was the most widely applied herbicide to treat Chinese corn, with that market totaling USD 87.1 million in sales. During the same year, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Thailand, and Pakistan were major export markets for Chinese atrazine producers. In 2018, according to the CCPIA, atrazine was forecasted to be one of the top four most in demand herbicides in China. In early 2018, the price of atrazine in China was approximately CNY 25,000 (~USD 3,915) per MT.


Butachlor (丁草胺)

  • Applications: Rice (primary), Corn, Cereals, Cotton
  • EU Status: Banned
  • ChinaAg Comment: In 2016, butachlor was China’s top herbicide (USD 65.2 million in sales) for rice

Summary: Originally developed by Monsanto, butachlor is a chloroacetanilide herbicide used to control annual grasses and broadleaf weeds on rice, corn, wheat, barley, cotton, and peanuts. In 2016, butachlor was widely applied on Chinese rice, with that market totaling USD 65.2 million in sales, followed by cotton (USD 2.9 million). During the same year, Thailand was a major export market for Chinese butachlor producers. Major Chinese producers of butachlor include Shandong Weifang Rainbow Chemical, Jiangsu Changlong Chemicals, and Nantong Jiangshan Agrochemical & Chemicals (SHA:600389). In 2018, according to the CCPIA, butachlor was forecasted to be one of the top four most in demand herbicides in China.


Clethodim (烯草酮)

  • Applications: Soybeans (primary)
  • EU Status: Permitted
  • ChinaAg Comment: Combining clethodim with glyphosate has become an increasingly popular herbicide mix to combat glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops

Summary: Clethodim is a cyclohexene oxime herbicide used to protect soybeans, cotton, peanuts, sunflowers, sugar beets, potatoes, and vegetables from annual grasses, perennial grasses, and broadleaf weeds. In recent years, clethodim has been increasingly used on crops where glyphosate-resistant grasses and weeds have emerged. However, as of early 2018, clethodim was six-times more expensive (~CNY 155,000 per MT) than glyphosate (~CNY 24,800 per MT). In 2016, Argentina, Australia, and the United States were key export markets for Chinese clethodim producers. Major Chinese producers of clethodim include Shandong Cynda Chemical (SHA:603086), Adama Agricultural Solutions (see ChemChina), Yifan Biotechnology Group, Sinochem Agro, Nutrichem Company, and Shandong Weifang Rainbow Chemical.


Dicamba (麦草畏)

  • Applications: Cereals (primary), Corn, Soybeans, Cotton, Sugarcane, Vegetables, Turf Grass
  • EU Status: Permitted
  • ChinaAg Comment: In 2017, approximately 1.45 million hectares (~4% total planted area) of U.S. soybeans were damaged after dicamba drifted in from nearby fields that were planted with newly introduced (by Monsanto and Germany’s BASF) dicamba-resistant soybeans

Summary: Dicamba is a benzoic acid herbicide used to control broadleaf weeds on cereals, corn, soybeans, cotton, sugarcane, asparagus, and other crops. Major Chinese producers of dicamba include Jiangsu Yangnong Chemical (SHA:600486), Zhejiang Zhongshan Chemical, and Shandong Sino-Agri United Biotechnology. In 2016, dicamba was the most widely used herbicide on Chinese cereals, with that market totaling USD 32.4 million in sales. During the same year, the U.S. and Argentina were major export markets for Chinese atrazine producers. In general, Chinese market demand for dicamba is relatively weak due to the dominance of glyphosate. With the emergence of the glyphosate-resistant weeds, dicamba may see increased usage in the near future. In light of this trend, Monsanto announced in January 2018 that it would begin running field trials in Brazil of genetically modified soybeans with built in dicamba resistance. The company acknowledged that dicamba-resistant soybeans “will boost weed control, particularly of some weed varieties that are resistant to glyphosate.” However, crop damage from dicamba drifting into non-resistant soybeans is a serious problem that will have to be addressed. In the United States for instance, in 2017, approximately 4% of its soybean crop was damaged from dicamba drifting in from nearby (newly planted) dicamba-resistant soybean fields.


Glyphosate (草甘膦)

  • Applications: +150 crops including Corn, Rice, Cereals, Oilseeds
  • EU Status: Permitted (5-year license renewed in November 2017)
  • ChinaAg Comment: China is the world’s top glyphosate producer and exporter despite having a commercial ban on domestic GM glyphosate-resistant crop cultivation

Summary: Originally developed by Monsanto, glyphosate is a broad-spectrum organophosphorus herbicide used to protect corn, rice, cereals, soybeans, potatoes, cotton, legumes, sugar beets, canola, and sunflowers from virtually all annual grasses, perennial grasses, and broadleaf weeds. The herbicide is primarily used on GM glyphosate-resistant crops developed by Monsanto, Syngenta, and Bayer CropScience. In March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published a report noting that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans”. This sparked a contentious debate within the EU about whether the herbicide should be relicensed before its December 2017 expiration date. In November 2017, by the slimmest possible margin (>65% majority approval), EU Member States voted 18 to 9 in favor (one abstention) to renew its license for another five years. Germany was the key swing vote for approval, while France, Italy, Belgium, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, and Austria all voted against glyphosate renewal. It should be noted four months later in March 2018, Germany’s Bayer won EU antitrust approval to purchase Monsanto for USD 62.5 billion.

China is the world’s largest producer and exporter of glyphosate, with exports generally accounting for 80% to 90% of end-market output on average. From 2010 to 2016, Chinese glyphosate production increased from 316,000 MTs to 505,000 MTs. In 2016, China utilized approximately 70,000 MTs of glyphosate domestically, equating to an export rate of 86% (by volume) for that year. In 2016, glyphosate was widely applied to Chinese corn, with that market totaling USD 52.2 million in sales, followed by canola (USD 22.1 million), cotton (USD 21.1 million), pome fruits (USD 16.5 million), rice (USD 11.7 million in sales), grapes (USD 6.8 million), soybeans (USD 5.7 million), and other various fruits & vegetables (USD 72.2 million). During the same year, glyphosate was China’s top pesticide exported to Brazil, the U.S., Australia, Argentina, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and Russia. Major Chinese producers of glyphosate include Sichuan Leshan Fuhua Tongda Agro-chemical Technology (largest exporter in 2016), Shandong Weifang Rainbow Chemical (second largest exporter in 2016), Zhejiang Xinan Chemical Industrial (SHA:600596), Nanjing Red Sun (SHE:000525), Nantong Jiangshan Agrochemical & Chemicals (SHA:600389), Hubei Xingfa Chemicals Group (SHA:600141), and Hubei Sanonda (see ChemChina). In 2018, according to the CCPIA, glyphosate was forecasted to be one of the top four most in demand herbicides in China.


Imazethapyr (咪唑乙烟酸)

  • Applications: Soybeans (primary), Legumes
  • EU Status: Banned
  • ChinaAg Comment: During the early 1990s, imazethapyr was applied on more than 75% of Iowa’s soybean crop

Summary: A chiral pesticide, imazethapyr is imidazolinone herbicide used to control broadleaf weeds and grasses on soybeans and legumes. In 2015, imazethapyr was globally one of the most used herbicides to treat soybeans. In 2016, imazethapyr was widely applied to Chinese soybeans, with that market totaling USD 48.4 million in sales. During the same year, Argentina was a major export market for Chinese imazethapyr producers. Major imazethapyr producers include Shandong Cynda Chemical (SHA:603086), Shandong Weifang Rainbow Chemical, and SinoChem Agro among others.


Paraquat (百草枯)

  • Applications: Corn, Soybeans, Cotton, Potatoes, Legumes
  • EU Status: Banned
  • ChinaAg Comment: Paraquat was cited in the cult film classic, The Big Lebowski, when “The Dude” calls the titular character a “human paraquat”, likely referencing the U.S. government’s drug war motivated spraying of paraquat on Mexican marijuana fields during the 1970s

Summary: Paraquat is broad-spectrum quaternary (aka ‘Quats’) ammonium herbicide used to protect corn, soybeans, cotton, potatoes, legumes, and vineyards from annual grasses, perennial grasses, and broadleaf weeds. In 2015, paraquat was globally one of the most used herbicides to treat soybeans and corn. Paraquat is highly toxic to humans, with a lethal dose totaling just 35 mg per kg of body weight. Due to its toxicity, cheap price tag (~USD 1.50 per kg as of September 2016), and wide availability, paraquat is frequently used by farmers and others to commit suicide. A multitude of countries have banned paraquat for public health concerns including Cambodia (2003), the EU (2007), Vietnam (2017), Taiwan (2019), Thailand (2019), and Brazil (2020). Despite widespread bans, paraquat is still used in the markets of Australia, Canada, Japan, Indonesia, and the U.S. (as of mid-2018).

As the world’s largest producer of paraquat (~80% of global capacity as of 2016), China holds a unique position in determining the herbicide’s market growth potential. In 2012, China announced it would ban the production of paraquat AS (i.e. aqueous solution) formulations. During that year, according to ICAMA, China exported USD 334.4 million worth of paraquat, making it the third most exported pesticide by value. At the time, Nanjing Red Sun (SHE:000525), Syngenta Nantong Crop Protection, Shandong Luba Chemical, Hubei Sanonda (SHE:200553), and Shandong Kexin Chemical accounted for 77% of China’s paraquat output capacity. It would not be until July 2016 when the China’s 2012 paraquat AS ban would be effectively implemented. In 2016, paraquat was widely applied to Chinese corn, with that market totaling USD 27.7 million in sales, followed by cotton (USD 5.8 million), and potatoes (USD 5.5 million). During the same year, Brazil, Australia, Indonesia, and Thailand were major export markets for Chinese paraquat producers. Future growth appears limited as China plans to ban its domestic sale and use by September 2020, while Thailand and Brazil plan to ban its use in 2019 and 2020, respectively. However, powerful agribusiness lobbying groups, such as Syngenta (acquired by ChemChina in May 2017), may continue to lobby its use and could succeed in postponing future bans.


S-metolachlor (S-异丙甲草胺)

  • Applications: Corn, Soybeans, Cereals, Cotton, Potatoes, Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Legumes, Sugar Beets
  • EU Status: Permitted
  • ChinaAg Comment: S-metolachlor, an isomer of metolachlor, is much more effective in controlling weeds than its ‘unresolved’ namesake, meaning it requires less usage and is safer for the environment

Summary: S-metolachlor is a chloroacetanilide herbicide used to control certain broadleaf weeds and annual grasses on corn, cereals, soybeans, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, and sugar beets. In 2002, the EU banned metolachlor over environmental concerns, but has permitted the use of S-metolachlor due to its low toxicity. In 2005, Syngenta became the first company to register its formulation for sale in China. In 2016, S-metolachlor was widely applied to Chinese cotton, with that market totaling USD 10 million in sales, followed by potatoes (USD 3 million). In early 2018, Argentina, Cuba, and South Africa were key export markets for Chinese S-metolachlor producers. Major Chinese producers of S-metolachlor include Shandong Binnong Technology, Shandong Weifang Rainbow Chemical, Zhejiang Zhongshan Chemical, and Jiangsu Changqing Agrochemical (SHE:002391).


INSECTICIDES

Abamectin (阿维菌素)

  • Applications: Cotton, Cereals, Soybeans, Fruits, Nuts, Vegetables
  • EU Status: Permitted
  • ChinaAg Comment: Abamectin is (as of early 2017) the most widely produced biopesticide in China, accounting for just under half of the country’s biopesticide registrations

Summary: Abamectin, derived from the bacterium Streptomyces avermitilis, is an avermectin insecticide used to protect cereals, soybeans, cotton, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and ornamentals from various insects, mites, and nematodes. Major Chinese producers of abamectin include Hailir Pesticides (SHA:603639), Zhejiang Zhongshan Chemical, and Shandong Weifang Rainbow Chemical. In 2016, abamectin was widely applied to Chinese cotton, with that market totaling USD 13.4 million in sales, followed by cereals (USD 7.6 million), and soybeans (USD 1.9 million). During the same year, Vietnam and Thailand were major export markets for Chinese abamectin producers. As of 2017, according to the CCPIA, abamectin was still in high demand in China. In April of that year, the U.S.’s Federal Trade Commission announced that ChemChina would have to divest itself of its abamectin, chlorothalonil, and paraquat businesses as a condition for acquiring Syngenta. In early 2018, the price of abamectin powder in China was approximately CNY 720,000 (~USD 112,100) per MT.


Acephate (乙酰甲胺磷)

  • Applications: Cereals, Rice, Soybeans, Vegetables, Fruits, Cotton, Legumes, Ornamentals
  • EU Status: Banned
  • ChinaAg Comment: In July 2017, China announced it would ban the use of acephate on various crops including vegetables, medicinal herbs, tea, mushrooms, and melons in two years time.

Summary: A chiral pesticide, acephate is a broad-spectrum phosphoramidothioate insecticide used to protect cereals, rice, soybeans, vegetables, fruits, cotton, legumes, and ornamentals from sucking insects (e.g. aphids) and biting insects (e.g. Lepidoptera moths). In 2015, acephate was globally one of the most used insecticides to treat rice and soybeans. In 2016, acephate was widely applied to Chinese cereals, with that market totaling USD 7.4 million in sales. During the same year, Brazil and India were major export markets for Chinese acephate producers. In July 2017, due to its high toxicity, China announced that it would ban its use on vegetables, melons, tea, mushrooms, and Chinese medicinal herbs by July 2019. Major Chinese producers of acephate include Hubei Sanonda (SHE:200553), Jiangsu Lanfeng Bio-chemical (SHE:002513), and Zhejiang Jiahua Group.


Carbofuran (克百威)

  • Applications: Rice, Corn, Soybeans, Potatoes, Fruits, Vegetables, Cotton
  • EU Status: Banned
  • ChinaAg Comment: In December 2017, China announced that it would phase out carbofuran from its domestic pesticide market by 2022

Summary: Carbofuran is a broad-spectrum benzofuranyl methylcarbamate insecticide used to protect rice, corn, soybeans, potatoes, fruits, vegetables, and cotton from insects (e.g. aphids, moths, beetles), mites, and nematodes. In 2002, owing to its high toxicity, China implemented a series of carbofuran bans that prohibited its use on fruits, vegetables, tea, and Chinese medicinal herbs. In 2015, carbofuran was globally one of the most used insecticides to treat rice. In 2016, Pakistan was a major export market for Chinese carbofuran producers. In July 2017, the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority (CAFIA) withdrew seven metric tons of dried goji berries supplied from China due to carbofuran contamination. In October 2017, Brazil banned the use of carbofuran. In December 2017, China’s Ministry of Agriculture announced it would be phasing out carbofuran, along with the soil fumigant chloropicrin and the insecticide methomyl, by 2022.  Major Chinese producers of carbofuran include Hubei Sanonda (see ChemChina), Jiangsu Lanfeng Bio-chemical (SHE:002513), and Jiangsu Changlong Chemicals.


Chlorantraniliprole (氯虫苯甲酰胺)

  • Applications: Soybeans, Corn, Rice, Cereals, Cotton, Potatoes, Vegetables, Fruits, Vineyards
  • EU Status: Permitted
  • ChinaAg Comment: A relative new pesticide product, chlorantraniliprole has seen strong market growth with global sales skyrocketing from USD 200 million in 2009 to USD 1.24 billion in 2013

Summary: Originally developed by DuPont, chlorantraniliprole is a broad-spectrum anthranilic diamide insecticide used to protect soybeans, corn, rice, cereals, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, and vineyards from a variety of insect pests (e.g. moths, caterpillars, beetles, flies). In 2006, Syngenta sold its fungicide picoxystrobin (banned by the EU in 2017) to DuPont as part of a licensing agreement for chlorantraniliprole. In 2015, chlorantraniliprole was globally one of the most used insecticides to treat soybeans, corn, and rice.

In China, chlorantraniliprole, under the proprietorship of DuPont, received regulatory approval for the market in 2011. Even before approval, Chinese-made counterfeit chlorantraniliprole was already well established on the mainland For instance, in October 2010, Jiangsu Province’s Public Security Bureau in Nantong announced they had raided and shut down a black market factory which had produced ~USD 5 million worth of chlorantraniliprole. To combat counterfeiters, in April 2013, Shanghai DuPont Agricultural Chemicals announced they would offer a financial reward (maximum of CNY 150,000 or ~USD 24,000) for any individual who exposed illicit chlorantraniliprole and cyantraniliprole (also an anthranilic diamide insecticide) production in China. A month later, it was reported that illicit chlorantraniliprole was seized from a pesticide distributor in Hunan Province. In 2016, genuine chlorantraniliprole was widely applied to Chinese rice, with that market totaling USD 30 million in sales, followed by cereals (USD 16 million). During the same year, India was a major export market for Chinese chlorantraniliprole producers (i.e. DuPont and Syngenta). In May 2017, it was announced that DuPont would have to divest from its Chinese chlorantraniliprole and cyantraniliprole assets (among other pesticides) as a condition of Chinese approval for the Dow-DuPont megamerger.


Chlorpyrifos (毒死蜱)

  • Applications: Rice (primary), Cereals, Corn, Cotton, Soybeans, Fruits, Nuts, Vegetables, Livestock
  • EU Status: Permitted
  • ChinaAg Comment: In January 2017, China’s Ministry of Agriculture banned the use of chlorpyrifos on vegetables

Summary: Originally developed by Dow Chemical Company, chlorpyrifos is a broad-spectrum pyridine organothiophosphate insecticide used to protect cereals, rice, corn, cotton, soybeans, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and ornamentals from a wide variety of insect pests (e.g. whiteflies, moths, beetles), mites, and nematodes. Chlorpyrifos is also toxic to bees, fish, and birds. In 2012, according to ICAMA, China exported USD 162.8 million worth of chlorpyrifos, making it the fifth most exported pesticide by value. At the time, Nanjing Red Sun (SHE:000525), Zhejiang Xinnong Chemical, Jiangsu Baoling Chemical, Zhejiang Dongfeng Chemical Industry, Lier Chemical (SHE:002258), Shandong Luba Chemical, and Shandong Tiancheng Chemical accounted for 78% of China’s chlorpyrifos production capacity. In 2016, chlorpyrifos was widely applied to Chinese rice, with that market totaling USD 71.5 million in sales, followed by cereals (USD 23.7 million), cotton (USD 12.7 million), corn (USD 5.3 million), and soybeans (USD 2.5 million). During the same year, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and Pakistan were major export markets for Chinese chlorpyrifos producers. Chlorpyrifos future market growth appears limited as China banned its use on vegetables in January 2017, while Thailand seems poised to issue a full ban when the insecticide’s product license expires in 2019. Regardless, as of 2017, chlorpyrifos was still in high demand in China and was forecasted by the CCPIA to be one of the top five most in demand insecticides in 2018.


Cypermethrin (氯氰菊酯)

  • Applications: Corn (primary), Cereals, Cotton, Vegetables, Livestock
  • EU Status: Permitted
  • ChinaAg Comment: A chiral pesticide, cypermethrin’s eight isomers are organized into four different insecticides products (alpha-, beta-, theta-, and zeta-cypermethrin), with cypermethrin generally containing 20% to 40% alpha-cypermethrin

Summary: Cypermethrin is a broad-spectrum pyrethroid ester insecticide used to protect corn, cotton, fruits, and vegetables from a variety of insect pests. Cypermethrin can also be used for insect control in enclosed spaces (e.g. barns, greenhouses, warehouses, etc.) and for treating parasites in livestock. In 2015, it was globally one of the most used insecticides to treat corn. In 2016, cypermethrin was widely applied to Chinese corn, with that market totaling USD 6.9 million in sales. Major Chinese producers of cypermethrin include Jiangsu Yangnong Chemical (SHA:600486) and Anhui Fengle Agrochemical.


Beta-Cypermethrin, aka β-Cypermethrin (高效氯氰菊酯)

  • Applications: Corn, Soybeans, Cereals, Cotton, Vegetables, Livestock
  • EU Status: Banned
  • ChinaAg Comment: Beta-Cypermethrin is a mixture of alpha-cypermethrin (most active insecticide agent) and theta-cypermethrin

Summary: Consisting of a group of four cypermethrin isomers, beta-cypermethrin is a broad-spectrum pyrethroid ester insecticide used to protect corn, soybeans, cereals, cotton, canola, and vegetables from sucking insects (e.g. aphids), Lepidoptera insects (e.g. moths), and Diptera insects (e.g. flies). In China, from 2014 to 2016, there have been reports of increased beta-cypermethrin resistance in Diamondback moths (pest of cabbages and other Brassicas) and the beet armyworm (pest of various field crops) due to its overuse. In general, beta-cypermethrin is more widely used than cypermethrin in China. For instance, in 2016, beta-cypermethrin was registered in China for use in 1,072 pesticide product formulations, while regular cypermethrin was registered for only 630 product formulations. During that year, beta-cypermethrin was widely applied to Chinese corn, with that market totaling USD 7.5 million in sales, followed by soybeans (USD 4.6 million). As of 2017, according to the CCPIA, beta-cypermethrin was still in high demand in China. Major Chinese producers of beta-cypermethrin include Jiangsu Yangnong Chemical (SHA:600486) and Anhui Fengle Agrochemical.


Cyhalothrin (氯氟氰菊酯)

  • Applications: Corn, Cereals, Fruits, Legumes, Potatoes, Sugar Beets
  • EU Status: Banned
  • ChinaAg Comment: Like cypermethrin and bifenthrin, cyhalothrin is a chiral synthetic insecticide whose insecticidal properties were derived from Chrysanthemum flowers

Summary: Cyhalothrin is a broad-spectrum pyrethroid ester insecticide used to protect corn, cereals, fruits, legumes, potatoes, and sugar beets from a wide variety of insect pests (e.g. aphids, moths, beetles, flies, etc.). In 2016, cyhalothrin was widely applied to Chinese corn, with that market totaling USD 8.1 million in sales, followed by cereals (USD 6.7 million). As of 2017, according to the CCPIA, cyhalothrin was still in high demand in China. Major Chinese producers of cyhalothrin include Jiangsu Yangnong Chemical (SHA:600486), Nanjing Red Sun (SHE:000525), Anhui Huaxing Chemical Industry (SHE:002018) and Sinochem Agro.


Lambda-Cyhalothrin, aka λ-cyhalothrin (高效氯氟氰菊酯)

  • Applications: Cereals, Corn, Soybeans, Cotton, Potatoes, Vegetables, Ornamentals
  • EU Status: Permitted
  • ChinaAg Comment: In 2015, lambda-cyhalothrin globally was the fourth most used insecticide on soybeans and corn

Summary: Consisting of a mixture of cyhalothrin isomers, lambda-cyhalothrin is a pyrethroid ester insecticide used to protect cereals, corn, soybeans, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, ornamentals, and hops from a wide variety of insect pests (e.g. aphids, moths, beetles, flies etc.). The insecticide is also toxic to bees and fish. In 2015, lambda-cyhalothrin was globally one of the most used insecticides to treat corn and soybeans. In 2016, lambda-cyhalothrin was widely applied to Chinese cereals, with that market totaling USD 15.5 million in sales, followed by corn (USD 9 million), and cotton (USD 5.6 million). In early 2018, the price of lambda-cyhalothrin in China was approximately CNY 250,000 (~USD 39,150) per MT. Major Chinese producers of lambda-cyhalothrin include Shandong Sino-Agri United Biotechnology, Jiangsu Changlong Chemicals, and Nanjing Red Sun (SHE:000525).


Dichlorvos, aka DDVP (敌敌畏)

  • Applications: Rice (primary), Soybeans, Potatoes, Fruits, Livestock
  • EU Status: Banned
  • ChinaAg Comment: In 2016, DDVP was the fourth most used (USD 29.5 million in sales) insecticide on Chinese rice cultivation, though it is classified as a possible carcinogen by the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC)

Summary: Dichlorvos is a broad-spectrum organophosphate insecticide used to protect rice, soybeans, fruits, vegetables, potatoes, cotton, and ornamentals from a variety of insect pests. Dichlorvos can also be used for insect control in enclosed spaces (e.g. barns, greenhouses, warehouses, etc.) and for treating parasites in livestock. Due to its high toxicity and negative ecological impact, its use has been restricted in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. In 2006, the EU banned it use. In 2008, China produced approximately 105,000 MTs of dichlorvos. In 2016, dichlorvos was widely applied to Chinese rice, with that market totaling USD 29.5 million in sales, followed by soybeans (USD 710,000) and potatoes (USD 470,000). In 2018, according to the CCPIA, dichlorvos was forecasted to be one of the top five most in demand insecticides in China for that year. Major Chinese producers of dichlorvos include Nantong Jiangshan Agrochemical & Chemicals (SHA:600389), Anhui Huaxing Chemical Industry (SHE:002018), and Sinochem Agro.


Imidacloprid (吡虫啉)

  • Applications: Soybeans, Rice, Corn, Cotton, Canola, Fruits, Vegetables, Potatoes, Sugar Beets
  • EU Status: Banned (Open field), Permitted (Greenhouses)
  • ChinaAg Comment: Imidacloprid is China’s most exported insecticide, with India, Pakistan, Brazil, and Russia being key buyers

Summary: Originally developed by Germany’s Bayer CropScience, imidacloprid is a neonicotinoid insecticide used to protect rice, corn, cereals, soybeans, canola, potatoes, cotton, vegetables, sugar beets, fruits, and turf grass from a variety of sucking insects (e.g. rice hoppers, aphids, thrips, whiteflies), termites, and fleas. Unfortunately, imidacloprid is also extremely toxic to honey bees and has been scientifically linked to bee colony die offs all over the world.  As a result, in 2013, the EU banned the use of imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam (also neonicotinoid insecticides) on open field flowering crops such as cereals, fruits, nuts, cotton, vegetables, spices, and legumes. Bayer CropScience and Syngenta (developer of thiamethoxam) have challenged this partial ban in court, but in April 2018, the EU Member States endorsed the EU Commission’s decision to implement a comprehensive ban on all outdoor crops.

In China, imidacloprid has remained a key insecticide for not only domestic use, but also for export. In 2012, according to ICAMA, China exported USD 359.6 million worth of imidacloprid, making it the second most exported pesticide by value. At the time, Jiangsu KWIN Group, Hailir Pesticides and Chemicals Group (SHA:603639), Jiangsu Yangnong Chemical (SHA:600486), Shandong Sino-Agri United Biotechnology, Jiangsu Changqing Agrochemical (SHE:002391),and Nanjing Red Sun (SHE:000525) accounted for 56% of China’s imidacloprid production capacity. In 2016, imidacloprid was widely applied to Chinese rice, with that market totaling USD 39.4 million in sales, followed by cereals (USD 24.8 million), cotton (USD 10.7 million), corn (USD 9.5 million), and potatoes (USD 1.2 million). During the same year, India, Pakistan, Brazil, and Russia were major export markets for Chinese imidacloprid producers. As of 2017, according to the CCPIA, imidacloprid was still in high demand in China. In early 2018, the price of imidacloprid in China was approximately CNY 205,000 (~USD 32,100) per MT.


Phoxim (辛硫磷)

  • Applications: Cotton, Rice, Corn, Soybeans, Potatoes
  • EU Status: Banned
  • ChinaAg Comment: Phoxim is used extensively on cotton fields in northern China and its Xinjiang Region to combat Helicoverpa armigera, aka the cotton bollworm

Summary: Originally developed by Germany’s Bayer CropScience, phoxim is an oxime organothiophosphate insecticide used to protect rice, corn, cotton, soybeans, potatoes, and sugar beets from Lepidoptera insects (e.g. caterpillars, moths). Phoxim can also be used as an acaricide to treat livestock suffering from mites and other ectoparasites. In 2016, phoxim was widely applied to Chinese rice, with that market totaling USD 23 million in sales, followed by corn (USD 7.6 million), cotton (USD 5.6 million), soybeans (USD 1.2 million), and potatoes (USD 680,000). As of 2017, phoxim was still in high demand in China and was forecasted by the CCPIA to be one of the top five most in demand insecticides in 2018. Major Chinese producers of phoxim include Jiangsu Changqing Agrochemical (SHE:002391), Anhui Fengle Agrochemical, and Jiangsu Baoling Chemical.


Thiosultap-disodium, aka Bisultap (杀虫双)

  • Applications: Rice (primary)
  • EU Status: Unknown (Thiosultap sodium is banned)
  • ChinaAg Comment: Bisultap, as thiosultap-disodium is known in China, is used to control the rice yellow stem borer in paddy fields around the Yangzte River valley

Summary: Thiosultap-disodium is a nereistoxin analogue insecticide used to protect rice, wheat, cotton, vegetables, and fruits from sucking insects (e.g. rice borers, aphids, thrips, whiteflies). In China, thiosultap-disodium is particularly used to combat rice stem borers. Major Chinese producers of thiosultap-disodium include Anhui Huaxing Chemical Industry (SHE:002018) and CNSG Anhui Hong Sifang. In 2018, according to the CCPIA, thiosultap-disodium was forecasted to be one of the top five most in demand insecticides in China for that year. It should be noted that cartap (杀螟丹), also a nereistoxin analogue insecticide that has similar attributes with thiosultap-disodium, was the fifth most globally used insecticide on rice in 2016. During that year, India was a major export market for Chinese cartap producers.


Trichlorfon, aka Dipterex (敌百虫)

  • Product Usage: Rice, Potatoes, Fruits, Vegetables, Livestock
  • EU Status: Banned
  • ChinaAg Comment: Livestock such as dairy cows can metabolize trichlorfon into dichlorvos (DDVP), a probable human carcinogen according to the U.S.’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and IARC

Summary: Trichlorfon is a broad-spectrum phosphonate insecticide used protect rice, potatoes, fruits, and vegetables from sucking insects (e.g. rice stem borers, rice plant hoppers, etc.), Lepidoptera insects (e.g. moths), and Diptera insects (e.g. flies). In addition to protecting crops, the insecticide can also be used to treat livestock and fish suffering from endo- and ecto-parasites. Due to its negative impact on the environment and human health, the EU banned trichlorfon in 2007, while New Zealand banned its use on crops (veterinary medicine applications still permitted) in 2011. In 2016, trichlorfon was widely applied to Chinese potatoes (USD 1 million). In early 2018, Argentina was considering banning trichlorfon and its byproduct dichlorvos due to international complaints regarding excessive dichlorvos contamination on food exports to Japan, Brazil, and the EU. Regardless, according to the CCPIA, trichlorfon was forecasted to be one of the top five most in demand insecticides in China in 2018. Major Chinese producers of trichlorfon include Hubei Sanonda (see ChemChina), and Nantong Jiangshan Agrochemical & Chemicals (SHA:600389).


FUNGICIDES

Carbendazim (多菌灵)

  • Applications: Fruits, Vegetables, Cereals, Corn, Soybeans
  • EU Status: Banned
  • ChinaAg Comment: In January 2013, Coca-Cola China filed a police report against rumors (reportedly circulated by China Central Television) that its Minute Maid orange juice was contaminated with carbendazim. The carbendazim rumors circulated a few months after news broke that Chinese hackers infiltrated Coca-Cola China’s corporate network during its failed 2009 acquisition attempt of Beijing’s Huiyuan Juice Group

Summary: Carbendazim is a broad-spectrum benzimidazole fungicide used primarily to protect fruits and vegetables. In January 2010, Australia banned the use of carbendazim on fruits (e.g. apple, pear, orange), turf grass, and other horticultural crops due to health concerns. In 2012, Australia followed up this ban by announcing that carbendazim tainted oranges and orange juice will not be permitted in the country. The U.S. and EU have similar bans on carbendazim. In 2012, according to ICAMA, China exported USD 108.9 million worth of carbendazim, making it the seventh most exported pesticide by value. At the time, Anhui Guangxin Agrochemical (SHA:603599), Zhejiang Xinan Chemical Industrial (SHA:600596), and Jiangsu Lanfeng Bio-chemical (SHE:002513) accounted for 90% of China’s total carbendazim production capacity.

Despite bans in the U.S., EU, and Australia, carbendazim was globally one of the most used fungicides to treat soybeans in 2015. In 2016, carbendazim was widely applied to Chinese cereals, with that market totaling USD 13.5 million in sales, followed by soybeans (USD 1.2 million), corn (USD 1.1 million), cotton (USD 160,000), and potatoes (USD 160,000). During the same year, Russia, Thailand, and India were major export markets for Chinese carbendazim producers. In September 2016, China’s Ministry of Agriculture announced it would conduct a safety review on the use of carbendazim. Regardless, as of 2017, carbendazim was still in high demand in China and was forecasted by the CCPIA to be one of the top five most in demand fungicides in 2018. In early 2018, the price of carbendazim in China was approximately CNY 38,000 (~USD 6,000) per MT.


Chlorothalonil (百菌清)

  • Applications: Cereals, Soybeans, Potatoes, Legumes, Vegetables
  • EU Status: Permitted
  • ChinaAg Comment: Brazil and the U.S. are major chlorothalonil export markets for China (as of 2016)

Summary: Chlorothalonil is a broad-spectrum (mold, mildews, etc.) aromatic fungicide used to protect a wide range of crops including rice, wheat, soybeans, cotton, vegetables, fruits, peanuts, potatoes, dry beans, coffee, tea, and turf grass. In 2012, according to ICAMA, China exported USD 67.7 million worth of chlorothalonil, making it China’s eighth most exported pesticide by value. At the time, the Jiangsu Province-based manufacturers of Jiangyin Suli Chemical (SHA:603585), Jiangsu Xinhe Agrochemical, and Jiangsu Weunite Fine Chemical accounted for 84% of China’s total chlorothalonil production capacity. In 2016, chlorothalonil was widely applied to Chinese cereals, with that market totaling USD 13.8 million in sales, followed by potatoes (USD 1.9 million), soybeans (USD 1.5 million), and cotton (USD 80,000). During the same year, Brazil and the U.S. were major export markets for Chinese chlorothalonil producers. As of 2017, chlorothalonil was still in high demand in China and was forecasted by the CCPIA to be one of the top five most in demand fungicides in 2018.


Copper hydroxide (氢氧化铜)

  • Applications: Fruits, Nuts, Vegetables, Ornamentals
  • EU Status: Permitted
  • ChinaAg Comment: Copper hydroxide has seen high demand in China recently (~2017) due to numerous bacterial outbreaks in crops

Summary: Copper hydroxide is a copper fungicide used to protect fruits (e.g. citrus, apples, pears), nuts, vegetables, vineyards, ornamentals, and rice from mildews, blights, leaf spots, and bacterial diseases. In 2011, DuPont successfully registered copper hydroxide with China’s Ministry of Agriculture for sale in the mainland. In 2017, copper hydroxide was in high demand in China due to outbreaks of various bacterial diseases including Chinese cabbage soft rot, citrus canker, and rice bacterial blight. Despite its popularity, its market growth is limited since the fungicide contains inorganic compounds that can cause phytotoxicity in crops. The bulk of China’s copper hydroxide is primarily produced by DuPont and Australia’s Nufarm Limited.


Copper(II) sulfate (硫酸铜)

  • Applications: Fruits, Nuts, Vegetables, Ornamentals
  • EU Status: Permitted
  • ChinaAg Comment: Used on French vineyards during the late 1800s, Copper(II) sulfate is generally considered the world’s first fungicide

Summary: Copper(II) sulfate is a copper fungicide used to protect fruits, nuts, vegetables, vineyards, and ornamentals from mildews, blights, leaf spots, and bacterial diseases. Generally considered the world’s first fungicide, copper(II) sulfate was used in combination with calcium hydroxide (aka lime) and water to produce the “Bordeaux mixture”. During the late 19th century, this mixture was used extensively on French vineyards to control downy mildew, a devastating fungal disease that was likely introduced into France from the U.S. during the mid-1800s. In addition to its function as a fungicide, copper(II) sulfate can also be used as an algicide to control algae growths in irrigated farmland and other waterways. In 2009, China consumed 14,582 MTs of copper sulfate, while its consumption of copper hydroxide was less than 10,000 MTs. In 2018, according to the CCPIA, copper(II) sulfate was forecasted to be one of the top five most in demand fungicides in China for that year.


Metalaxyl (甲霜灵)

  • Applications: Potatoes (primary), Corn, Soybeans, Cotton, Fruits, Vegetables, Ornamentals
  • EU Status: Permitted
  • ChinaAg Comment: After 2004, according to EuroBlight, the metalaxyl-resistant EU_13_A2 (Blue 13) lineage of potato blight emerged as the dominant genotype, though in 2017 (for the first time) the EU_6_A1 genotype appeared in more EU potato samples

Summary: A chiral pesticide, metalaxyl is an acylamino acid (also anilide) fungicide used to protect potatoes, corn, soybeans, cotton, fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals from oomycete fungi (e.g. downy mildew, blights). Due to its overuse, metalaxyl-resistant strains of potato blight (Phytophthora infestans) have been reported all over the world including Europe, North Africa, India, and China. In 2016, metalaxyl was widely applied to Chinese potatoes, with that market totaling USD 17.5 million in sales, followed by corn (USD 5.1 million), soybeans (USD 2 million), and cotton (USD 410,000). Major Chinese producers of metalaxyl include Yifan Biotechnology Group, Jiangsu Baoling Chemical, and Shandong Weifang Rainbow Chemical.


Quintozene, aka Pentachloronitrobenzene (五氯硝基苯)

  • Applications: Rice, Wheat, Vegetables, Legumes
  • EU Status: Banned
  • ChinaAg Comment: In 1998 and 2000, U.S. media widely reported that some samples of ginseng root imported from South Korea and China were contaminated with quintozene

Summary: Quintozene is a soil applied aromatic fungicide used to protect rice, wheat, vegetables, legumes, potatoes, cotton, ornamentals, and turf grass from stem rot, clubroot, and other fungal diseases. In October 1998, Switzerland banned the use of quintozene due to environmental concerns. In December 2010, Canada banned the use of quintozene on turf grasses (e.g. golf courses). In May 2011, New Zealand banned the use of quintozene due to health risks from dioxin contamination. In 2017, according to the CCPIA, quintozene was in high demand in China. Hailir Pesticides and Chemicals (SHA:603639) is a major Chinese producer of quintozene.


Propiconazole (丙环唑)

  • Applications: Cereals (primary), Rice, Corn, Soybeans, Legumes, Fruits, Nuts, Turf grass
  • EU Status: Permitted
  • ChinaAg Comment: As of early 2016, the global production capacity of propiconazole was approximately 6,000 MTs, of which China accounted for roughly 3,500 MTs (~59% of total capacity)

Summary: Propiconazole is a broad-spectrum triazole fungicide used to protect cereals, rice, corn, soybeans, legumes, fruits, nuts, and turf grass from powdery mildews, eyespot (wheat), rusts, leaf spots, and various other fungal diseases. In 2015, propiconazole was globally one of the most used fungicides to treat cereals and rice. In 2016, propiconazole was widely applied to Chinese cereals, with that market totaling USD 19.9 million in sales. During the same year, Russia was a major export market for Chinese propiconazole producers. Major Chinese producers of propiconazole include Hailir Pesticides and Chemicals (SHA:603639), Adama Agricultural Solutions (see ChemChina), and Anhui Fengle Agrochemical (see Hefei Fengle Seed). In early 2018, the price of propiconazole technical in China was approximately CNY 160,000 (~USD 24,900) per MT.


Triadimefon (三唑酮)

  • Applications: Cereals (primary), Corn, Cotton, Potatoes, Vegetables, Fruits, Vineyards, Sugarcane, Turf Grass
  • EU Status: Banned
  • ChinaAg Comment: China began using triadimefon during the late 1980s to control powdery mildew on wheat crops

Summary: Triadimefon is a broad-spectrum triazole fungicide used to protect cereals, corn, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, vineyards, sugarcane, and turf grass from powdery mildews, rusts, leaf spots, and various other fungal diseases. In 2016, triadimefon was widely applied to Chinese cereals, with that market totaling USD 29.8 million in sales, followed by corn (USD 7.8 million), cotton (USD 2.72 million), and potatoes (USD 40,000). Major Chinese producers of triadimefon include Jiangsu KWIN Group, ABA Chemicals Corp (SHE:300261), and Jiangsu Luye Agrochemicals among others.


Tricyclazole (三环唑)

  • Applications: Rice (primary)
  • EU Status: Banned
  • ChinaAg Comment: In mid-2017, Cambodian rice exporters began focusing more on the Chinese market after the European Union (Cambodia’s largest rice importer) implemented stricter tricyclazole residue limits (i.e. from 1.0 mg per kg to 0.01 mg per kg) on rice shipments

Summary: Tricyclazole is a triazole fungicide used primarily to control rice blast fungus and was globally one of the most used fungicides to treat rice in 2015. In 2016, tricyclazole was widely applied to Chinese rice, with that market totaling USD 24.4 million in sales. During the same year, Vietnam was a major export market for Chinese tricyclazole producers. Major Chinese producers of tricyclazole include Jiangsu KWIN Group, Zhejiang Sega Science and Technology, and Jiangsu Fengdeng Crop Science. Recently. the EU implemented new tricyclazole residue limits of 0.01 mg per kg of paddy rice (June 2017) and 0.01 mg per kg for fragrant rice (December 2017), which caused some exporters (e.g. Cambodia) to focus on the laxer import market of China.


[1] Technical pesticides are “pure” pesticides that contain a high percentage of the active ingredient used to kill the target pest(s). Due to their high purity, technical pesticides are generally not applied directly to crops, but instead “formulated” (i.e. mixed and/or diluted) with other substances before being sold. In addition, technical pesticides can be reverse-engineered to uncover its manufacturing process. This process is often confidential and proprietary intellectual property if the pesticide is still under patent.

[2] Up until 2011, China’s Harmonized System (HS) Code for glyphosate was 29310000411 (Chapter 29, Organic chemicals). For the purpose of this report, ChinaAg used the HS Code 293100 as an estimate for Chinese glyphosate exports.

[3] In 2016, Hubei Sanonda (SHE:200553) was China’s 22nd largest technical pesticide producer by sales. By 2017, Hubei Sanonda was China’s top pesticide producer due to acquisitions by ChemChina.

[4] Dow Agrosciences has sold multiple pesticides businesses to Nutrichem including its broad spectrum herbicides oxyfluorfen (November 2015) and tebuthiuron (June 2016). In June 2018, Nutrichem appointed a new COO who had previously worked 24 years at various units within Dow.

[5] In March 2017, Nutrichem Company, Shenzhen Noposion Agrochemicals, and Jiangxi Heyi Chemical entered into a strategic collaboration agreement. In October 2017, Nutrichem became the controlling shareholder of Jiangxi Heyi Chemical, which has been traded on China’s over-the-counter (OTC) market since December 2015. In 2017, Jiangxi Heyi Chemical was used to acquire Jiangsu Changlong Chemicals from Shenzhen Noposion.

[6] In 2013, Jiangsu’s Huai’an industrial park reportedly hosted 31 of China’s top 100 agrochemical producers

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