Sales in the biostimulants and biofertilizers market grew at a CAGR of 9% from 2019 to 2022 ― mostly due massive price increases for fertilizers.
“Fertilizer prices have been skyrocketing for the past two years,” Aneesa Moolla, Project Manager in our Agrochemicals sector, said in a recent webinar. The reason: the COVID-19 pandemic slowed production and caused disruptions in the supply chain, triggering fertilizer prices to increase by 80%; the Russian-Ukraine conflict then compounded price increases by a further 30%. As a result of the price explosion, biostimulants and biofertilizers are being hailed as the next best alternative.
According to Moola, who highlighted findings from Kline’s new Biostimulants and Biofertilizers: Global Overview of the Market and Use report, the EU records some of the highest growth rates as it moves toward using fewer chemicals. India has been among the highest-growing countries since its government began to formally recognize biostimulant products in 2020. Meanwhile, Spain and Italy are the highest-growing regions for the EU, as both countries favor biologicals for export crops.
Future growth in the biostimulants and biofertilizers market will be driven by sustainability, Moolla says. Key factors include the EU New Green deal, which is leading to less chemical fertilizer usage; investments and company mergers becoming more widespread, leading to more technologies being shared and new products being created; and abiotic stresses becoming prevalent, increasing the need for stimulants to maintain food supply. And finally, consumers are changing their lifestyles and shifting toward organic, vegan, or vegetarian diets.
There are, however, some limitations to the growth of biostimulants and biofertilizers. Perhaps the most noteworthy: a lack of clear regulations, which causes a slew of problems.
For one, Moolla says, “No formal definitions means inconsistent product marketing, and there may be a lot of companies that are greenwashing. Farmers then won’t trust the products. They’re going to go with what they trust, and that’s traditional fertilizers.”
Other growth obstacles: unregistered products that offer little information to farmers, and low adoption of bioproducts, as there is less availability and incentive to try new technologies.
Moolla also touched on a subject that’s new to the Biostimulants and Biofertilizers report: the plant growth regulator market in the United States.
“There’s a lot of consolidation in the market,” she says, with companies expanding their crop protection portfolios to include PGRs.
Other trends uncovered by Kline’s research: PGR manufacturers increasingly partnering with local distributors and retailers to reduce supply chain costs and stay close to customers; the economic importance of PGRs growing as labor shortages persist and hourly wages increase; and more manufacturers of PGRs collaborating with leading academic institutions to conduct field trials to assess the best practices around PGR application and efficacy.
So what are the market drivers for PGRs? And what’s the five-year forecast for the biostimulants and biofertilizers market? To find out that – and much more – watch the webinar here. And be sure to check out Biostimulants and Biofertilizers: Global Overview of the Market and Use. The report, which provides analysis of the growing market segment of the crop protection sector, includes technology, product descriptions, crop targets, and an outlook with forecast for each market segment. Nine country markets are covered: Brazil, Germany, France, India, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Spain.