Western Europe demand driving Australia’s biopesticide industry

22 June 2010 13:18  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Australia’s agro-chemicals industry, particularly its biopesticides sector, is growing rapidly due to strong demand from western Europe and North America, research and consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan said on Tuesday.

Biopesticides have become increasingly mainstream in Australia, as most of the country’s agricultural output is exported to western Europe and North America, where a growing consumer awareness of “green foods” has compelled farmers to abandon conventional chemical pesticides.

At present total pesticide sales in Australia exceed $1bn (€810m) a year, analysts at Frost & Sullivan said.

“Although biopesticides constitute a relatively small portion of this market, their use has been steadily rising, to reach about $30m in sales in 2009,” said Sarah Wang, chemicals industry analyst.

“Further growth is expected as Maximum Residual Limits (MRLs) become more stringent, regulations for chemical residues more targeted, and government Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programmes more prevalent,” she added.

Wang said that biopesticides still accounted for a relatively small portion of the total pesticides market in the region because they remained dependent on government enforcement and customer demand for chemical-free products.

“However, in line with other segments of the chemicals industry, we can expect to see biologically-derived products gain increasing share as governmental and consumer pressures combine to stimulate take-up,” she said.

Frost & Sullivan added that industrial biotechnology was on the rise, with global sales of chemicals derived from industrial biotechnology estimated at €125bn, or roughly 10% of global chemical revenues.

($1 = €0.81)

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By: Franco Capaldo
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