The application of pesticides on seeds for controlling disease caused by organisms and insects is known as seed treatment. Seed treatment plays an important role in improving the health of the crops. The low-cost crop protection and less environmental impact of seed treatment are the factors expected to drive growth of the market. The crop seeds are often exposed to adverse environmental conditions during seedling development. This treatment reduces the environmental impact of the manufacturing process by reducing the spray applications of crop protection products and decreasing exposure to non-target species including pollinators and humans. According to American Seed Trade Association (ASTA), the exposure of potential soil surface to pesticides is reduced by around 90% or more as compared to other application methods such as broadcast sprays or in-furrow applications.
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However, despite seed treatment being a cost-effective crop protection technique, it is not efficient if presence of pest is high. Hence, the low shelf life of the treated seeds and limited protection are the factors hindering the market growth.
Seed treatment is segmented on the basis of crop type in cereals & grains, sugar beets, alfalfa, oil seeds, sugarcane, and vegetables. Cereals & grains segment is expected to account for the highest revenue share over the forecast period, due to its increasing consumption by global population. According to the United States Food and Agriculture Organization, the global cereal consumption was 38 million tonnes in 2016 and was increased by 1.5% in 2017. Furthermore, seed treatment is segmented on the basis of applications such as insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, fertilizers, and bio-control. Herbicides accounted for the largest revenue share in 2016, owing to its easy application and low cost. According to Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, herbicides accounted for 16% of the total crop protection chemicals market in 2015.
Latin America is a dominant region in the global seed treatment market and was valued at US$ 6,199.6 Mn in 2016. Brazil is a global soybean producer and around 98% of soybean seeds in Brazil are treated with fungicides and insecticides. This factor is considered as a major driver for the growth of seed treatment market in this region.
Europe is expected to show a significant growth in global seed treatment market. France and Germany have immensely contributed to the growth of seed treatment market in this region. The stringent government regulations in the European economies have allowed these regions to focus on bio-control agents for seed treatment, which drives the growth overall seed treatment market For instance, in January 2017, Albaugh, LLC, launched a BIOST- biological seed treatment platform, which includes a wide range of portfolio that consists of effective and proven biological seed treatments. This biological seed treatments have been tested to improve and enhance the performance of seeds.
According to European Commission, Regulation No. 540/2011 amending Regulation (EU) No. 485/2013, the use as soil treatment and seed treatment of plant protection products containing active substances such as thiamethoxam, imidacloprid, and clothianidin are prohibited for the cereals and crops attractive to bees, except uses for winter cereals and in greenhouses.
The seed treatment market was valued at US$ 19,276.9 million in 2016 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 7.81%, in terms of revenue over the forecast period (2017 – 2025).
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North America held revenue share of 15.05% in the global seed treatment market in 2016. The active ingredients used in seed treatments are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
Several market players have undertaken initiatives such as merger & acquisition and new product launch to meet increasing demand from consumers and enhance their business in the seed treatment market. For instance, in May 2017, Syngenta AG announced to launch its fungicidal seed treatment, Plenaris in Argentina by 2018 for the control of downy mildew in sunflower.
Major Players in Global Seed Treatment Market:
Some of the key players operating in the global seed treatment market include Syngenta AG, Bayer AG, Nufarm Limited, BASF S.E., Monsanto Company, DowDuPont Inc., Sumitomo Chemical Company, Limited, Albaugh, LLC, FMC Corporation, and Lanxess AG.
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