The European market for biopesticides is estimated to be worth approximately $541.4 million at end-user level. The breakdown of the figures indicates that approximately half the market can be attributed to invertebrate biocontrol agents and pollinators (IBCAs). The areas with the largest growth are in biochemicals and IBCAs. The largest individual European biopesticide market is Spain, followed by Italy and France.
Frost and Sullivan estimated the European biopesticide market in 2000 as $97.1 million of which beneficial insects took $53.5 million (55%), microbial pesticides $25.1 million (26%) and semiochemicals $18.5 million (19%). Based on these numbers, it is possible to calculate growth rates that suggest a CAGR of 16.91% for the European biopesticide sector since 2000.
Biopesticides now represent 5.04% of the European pesticide market.
Our review of the European market in many ways mirrors the situation in North America. Substantial growth in the sales of biopesticides is seen as a direct response to:
- new product introductions,
- improved scientific credibility,
- greater user confidence, and
- increased pressure from the authorities for a move to greater sustainability in agriculture.
We have detected, on both sides of the Atlantic, a paradigm shift towards biopesticides that began around 2009-2010. This sea change has been confirmed by a substantial move by the agrochemical majors into the biopesticide business during 2012, notably through acquisition of some of the key new players, such as Becker Underwood (by BASF), AgraQuest (by Bayer CropScience) and Pasteuria Biosciences (by Syngenta).
All the indicators suggest that we will see growth in biopesticide sales accelerate into and through 2013 and on to 2020. As described in the text, those within the business are confident of continued significant European growth with the implementation of the EU’s Sustainable Use Directive of 2009, which specifically requires the introduction and increased use of biopesticides from 2014.
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