Global AgricultureCrop Protection

India surpasses the USA to become the second-largest exporter of agrochemicals

25 July 2023, New Delhi: According to the latest data released by the WTO, India has emerged as the second-largest exporter of agrochemicals in the world in 2022 with exports valued at $5.5 billion surpassing the USA with exports at $5.4 billion. China leads the exports in agrochemicals with exports valued at $11.1 billion.

The Indian agrochemical industry fetched a valuable trade surplus of Rs. 28,908 crores ($3.5 bn) in FY 2022-23. The performance on the export front is due to the Indian industry’s technical capability to quickly introduce post-patent products at competitive prices in both domestic and global markets.

RankCountryValue ($ Bn)
1China$11.1 Bn
2India$5.5 Bn
3USA$5.4 Bn
4France$4.1 Bn
5Germany$3.9 Bn
Top 5 Countries in Agrochemical Exports (Source: WTO)
Agrochemical Markets for India

The USA is the largest buyer of Indian-made agrochemicals followed by Brazil and Japan. Indian-made agrochemicals are used in over 140 countries worldwide.

Globally the agrochemicals market is estimated to be $78 bn and almost 75% of this is of post-patent products. India is fast emerging as a preferred global hub for sourcing post-patent agrochemicals.

Chlorantraniliprole (CTPR) is the world’s largest-selling insecticide with an estimated sale of Rs. 13,000 crores annually. Until last year, India was importing this insecticide. Many Indian companies have now introduced indigenously manufactured CTPR in the market. The industry expects to tap the global CTPR market with its low-cost manufacturing.

YearExports from India (Rs. cr.)Imports (Rs. cr.)Trade Surplus (Rs. cr.)
2017-1816,4978,4678,030
2018-1922,1269,26712,859
2019-2023,7579,09614,661
2020-2126,51312,41814,095
2021-2236,52113,36523,156
2022-2343,22314,31528,908
Agrochemical Exports, Imports, and Trade Surplus (Source: Ministry of Commerce & Industry)

To boost domestic production and curtail imports, the Agrochemical Industry body Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI) has recommended certain measures to the Government of India to discourage the import of ready-to-use pesticide formulations.

Mr. Deepak Shah, Chairman of CCFI, referring to India’s ongoing discussions on Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with the European Union, United Kingdom, and other countries cautioned against granting any Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) plus measures such as data exclusivity being granted to the western multinational companies as it would adversely affect the growth of Indian agrochemical and pharmaceutical industry.

Deepak Shah further said, “Indian companies have in recent years made significant investments in establishing larger and new production facilities to cater to the domestic and global markets. Backward integration, capacity expansion, and new registrations would foster the growth of the Indian agrochemical industry. With favourable policy facilitations, the Indian agrochemical industry is confident of doubling exports in the next three years to reach $10 Bn.”

Bringing Investments in the Agrochemical Sector

Further to improve investments in the sector, CCFI has made representations to the Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Finance highlighting the need to revise the customs duty.

Harish Mehta, Senior Advisor at CCFI told Krishak Jagat, “The present custom duty of 10% on both technical and formulation is a disincentive for Indian manufacturers. The association has suggested the Ministry to revise the customs duty on technical to 20% and 30% on the import of formulations to maintain a delta of at least 10% between the two tariffs. This would not only curtail unnecessary imports from China but also incentivize Indian manufacturers to make fresh investments and increase capacities for liquids, granules & wettable powders to augment the growing domestic consumption. This would also help in doubling the exports to $ 10 billion in the next 3 years.” 

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