By May 2017, 36,433 pesticides using 672 active ingredients have been registered with China ICAMA, of which 35,408 are registered by 2,116 Chinese domestic companies, 308 are registered by 20 US companies, 189 are registered by 8 German companies, 179 are registered by 24 Japanese company, 106 are registered by 2 Swiss companies and other 243 are registered by 53 overseas companies from India, Australia, Israel, Singapore, UK, Korea and Italy, etc.
Technical Grade Products
4,269 of the registrations are for manufacturing use, consisting of 3,993 TCs(technical), 230 TKs (technical material),38 TKLs (technical material in liquid) 8 TKPs (technical material powder) and 1 TFs(another form of technical material powder). 8 of the products are mixtures of complex compounds such as enadenines, brassinolides, and sodium/potassium nitrophenolates. With the patent expiry in 2011, azoxystrobin became the top registered TC in the last five years and the registration of pyraclostrobin is growing after it’s patent expiry in 2015. The development of more herbicide-resistant GMOs is driving more producers to register traditional generics such as 2,4-D and dicamba.
Fig.1-Top 20 Most Registered Technical Grade Active Ingredients (TGAI) Since 2012
Product Category and Formulation Type
Around 38% of the formulations are insecticides, followed by fungicides 26%, herbicides 23% and health pesticides 7%. E Although market share of ECs has decreased each year since China MIIT begun restricting the production approval in 2009, it represents the highest proportion among all formulation types. The reason for the record high number of approved products in 2009 was the promulgation of “Data Requirement on Pesticide Registration” in 2008. Most companies had started the efficacy, residual and toxicological tests in 2007 and the applications were finally approved in 2009. It is estimated that the number of registration will be reduced and percentage of EC formulation will be replaced by formulation types such as SL, WDG, SC and GR.
Fig.2-Percentages and Annual of Product Category and Formulation Types
Structural Adjustment on Crop Plantation
Chinese crop plantation is very “unbalanced” as maize is periodically oversupplied while imports of soy, cotton, oil and sugar crops are increasing every year. For supply safety purposes, China planned to reduce maize acreages to 33.33 million hectares by 2020 and increase the plantation area designated to edible soy. Acreage of cereal and sugar crops will be maintained to ensure domestic self-sufficiency. Crop protection products would thus play an important role in the wake of increased food demand and limited arable land.
Fig.3-Chinese Crop Acreages (2006-2015)
Rice is the most registered crop/site in China and 7,657 formulations using 256 active ingredients have been registered on rice, of which 3,613 are insecticides, 2,082 are fungicides, 1,721 are herbicides, 144 are PGRs and other 97 are other categories of nematicide, acaricide, molluscicide, plant inducer, insect growth regulator. imidacloprid, chlorpyrifos and bensulfuron-methyl are the top 3 registered active ingredients. These generics have been less popular in paddy market in recent three years as the market is increasingly influenced by MNCs, which have accelerated product differentiation and market diversification. Although the patent for thifluzamide expired in 2012, the fungicide has underachieved domestically, resulting in slow growth in the number of registrations. The advantages against strip rust disease have been gradually recognized in China and the usage grew by 30% in 2015. Currently, 33 formulations have been approved over the past five months, while only 23 were approved in 2016 and 36 were approved in 2015.
Fig.4-Top 10 Active Ingredients and Rice Pests For Pesticide Registration in China
Cotton is the second largest target crop for Chinese pesticide registration, 3,007 formulations using 153 active ingredients have been registered on cotton crop, consisting of 2177 insecticides, 236 herbicides, 236 PGRs(defoliants), 196 fungicides, and 135 pesticides ranging from nematicide, acaricide, molluscicide and plant inducer. Over 50% of the formulations were registered in 2008 and 2009. As labor costs continue to rise in China, chemical defoliants are increasingly utilized and thidiazuron becomes the most frequently registered active ingredient in recent 3 years.
Fig.5-Top 10 Active Ingredients and Cotton Pests For Pesticide Registration in China
Wheat has the second largest production volume for a food after rice and 2,631 formulations have been registered on the crop. Herbicide was the most registered category (947), followed by fungicide (780), insecticide (738), PGRs(69) and 97 multi-functional pesticides including nematicide, acaricide, molluscicide and plant inducer. The number of approved products was stable and the top 10 active ingredients varied little. The administrative protection on clodinafop was expired in 2010 and sales of the herbicide continued to grow. According to the survey by the NATESC (China National Agricultural Technology Extension and Service Center), uses of clodinafop has grown by 20% in 2012 and sales has increased by almost 50% in 2015. The herbicide is compatible with other active ingredients, which broadens its usages in weed resistance management. Dinotefuran is likely to also see growth in the insecticide as 4 formulations were approved during the 1st half of 2017.
Fig.6-Top 10 Active Ingredients and Wheat Pests For Pesticide Registration in China
Annually, 2.33 million hectares of the area allotted to maize cultivation is affected by weeds. Herbicide accounted for over 73% of the formulations, followed by insecticide (326) and fungicide (150). Acetochlor, atrazine,2,4-D butylate and metolachlor were the major pesticides utilized on the crop and these active ingredients have been frequently registered in recently years. The National Committee on Pesticide Registration has warned against the risk of 2,4-D butylate during its 18th session in late 2015. The herbicide has not been registered since 2015 and the position is gradually being replaced by its long side chain homologue, 2,4-D-ethylhexyl. Both mesotrione and nicosulfuron are increasingly welcomed by Chinese growers, which accelerated the registration of these active ingredients. In 2009, BASF launched a post-emerge herbicide topramezone, with broad spectrum, lower dosage and safer than other mainstream herbicides. The herbicide quickly joined mesotrione and nicosulfuron in a three-way tie in China’s maize herbicide market. Although only 3 topramezone products (1 TC, 1 SC and 1 repackaging authorizations controlled by BASF) have been registered in China, a boom is expected after its patent expiry in 2018.
Head smut, stalk rot grub, aphid and borer are the top target diseases/insects of these formulations and usage of herbicide varies depending on geographical region in China.
Fig.7-Top 10 Active Ingredients Registered on Maize and Weeds in China