China is where a large proportion of the raw material for the production of Glyphosate originates. According to published data the annual output of glyphosate raw powder is about 580,000 tons, about 10% of which is for domestic use, while the vast majority is exported.
Of the ten prime manufacturers in China, the Xingfa Group produce the most at 230,000 tons whilst others such as Fuhua, Wynca, Jiangshan an amount roughly totalling 800,000 tons, two-thirds of the world’s total capacity. Globally, production capacity is around 1.2 million tons, of which Bayer produces 380,000 tons.
Just now, these major Chinese glyphosate manufacturers have decided to alternately shut down production plants to conduct maintenance. This will in effect reduce production by one-third.
This is in part a response to the nation’s energy consumption controls and carbon emission reduction policies. It is also an action to utilise the limited phosphate resources to achieve a safe, green and sustainable development of the glyphosate industry. This is the first time glyphosate manufacturers have taken collective action to limit production to achieve the goal of work safety and green development through self-discipline.
Glyphosate is the world’s largest pesticide active and China’s largest single-production and export active amongst all pesticide produced.
World turmoil over the last couple of years imposed significant uncertainties on all countries but one thing for certain was that the continued expansion of the area planted to “Genetically Modified” (GM) crops has benefited glyphosate sales. The end result, a long lost boom in market pricing for this active.
However, since the beginning of 2022, the price of glyphosate technical started to decline dropping 34% from its earlier high. According to industry analysts, the current trend in the glyphosate price will continue down, attributable to the increased stocks, weakened resistance to price, lack of confidence from the downstream industry and the “wait and see” attitude of international buyers.
See-sawing prices are not conducive to safe, green and sustainable development of the glyphosate industry. Since 2021, due to the strong market demand, higher profit margins and promising market expectations, almost all glyphosate manufacturers have been running at full capacity.
The global glyphosate market currently runs at around US$5.6 billion. It is predicted that with an ever increasing global demand for food, the continuous expansion of the area planted to GM crops, glyphosate will maintain a promising prospects for worldwide industry over the next 5 to 10 years.