Thursday, May 9, 2013

Metazachlor grows steadily in China

By March 2013, the domestic metazachlor technical capacity reached 3,200 t/a, with a 1,080 tonnes output in 2012. The domestic metazachlor technical capacity is mainly concentrated in Jiangsu Province, with its output accounting for around 41.7% of the domestic total in 2012. It's observed that the operation rate of metazachlor technical in China stayed at a low level in the past three years (2010-2012), hovering around 30%, according to Herbicide China News 1304, issued by CCM in April.
Metazachlor is a chloroacetanilide herbicide developed by BASF, which entered the market in 1979. It has been introduced in China in 2001. The same year, Zhejiang Heben Pesticide & Chemicals Co., Ltd. (Zhejiang Heben) started to develop a metazachlor business with a 200t/a technical production line. After more than ten years of development,  there are now ten metazachlor technical manufacturers in China. However, among the ten, Zhejiang Heben's production capacity is still 150t/a.
Currently, there are nine active and one idle metazachlor technical manufacturers in China. Jiangsu Lanfeng Biochemical Co., Ltd. (Jiangsu Lanfeng) and Shangyu Nutrichem Co., Ltd. are the two leading metazachlor technical manufacturers in China, both with a 600t/a capacity. Previously, Shandong Determination Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Shandong Determination) was the biggest metazachlor technical manufacturer in China with a 700t/a capacity—but it suspended its production in 2012.  

The metazachlor is not used in the domestic market due to its high price and farmers' use habits. All the metazachlor technical in China is exported to the overseas market and the total export volume kept increasing in China in recent years, reaching more than 1,000 tonnes in 2012, up 53.8%, compared with 2008.
The Chinese metazachlor is mainly exported to Europe and South America. European countries prefer to use metazachlor and it's the best-selling herbicide because it is an environmentally friendly herbicide, though with a high price. More than 70% of the Chinese metazachlor is exported to Europe every year.
In Europe, metazachlor is one of the most popular herbicides and it's mainly used on rapeseed. The demand for environmentally friendly herbicides keeps increasing. Taking the UK for example, there was a shortage of herbicides for oil crops in 2011: the planting area of rapeseed in UK was increasing; and the demand for metazachlor exceeded the supply. Accordingly, that demand may stimulate China's metazachlor export business.

By April 2 2013, there were only four valid metazachlor registrations owned by three companies, according to the Institute for the Control of Agrochemicals, Ministry of Agriculture(ICAMA). All the metazachlor registrations are temporary, with a one-year-period of validity. It's noteworthy that in Dec. 2012, Shandong Determination's metazachlor formulation registration was approved by ICAMA. Actually, in 2009, Jiangsu Lanfeng firstly registered metazachlor in China, including a technical and formulation. Yet, during the following year's valid period, Jiangsu Lanfeng failed to open metazachlor markets in China. 

Metazachlor, a selective acetanilide herbicide, is used in pre-emergence and early post-emergence to control annual grass (such as Alopecurus myosuroides, Apera spica-venti, Avena fatua, Digitaria sanguinalis, Echinochloa crus-galli, Poa annua and Setaria spp.)and broad-leaved weeds (such as Amaranthus, Anthemis, Matricaria, Polygonum, Sinapis, Solanum, Stellaria, Urtica and Veronica spp.) in fields of vegetables, fruits, sunflowers, tobacco.

Table Contents of Herbicide China News 1304:
China to strengthen the registration management of metsulfuron-methyl,chlorsulfuron and ethametsulfuron
Sanonda achieved a USD16.7 million net profit in 2012
Jiangsu Changqing to launch a 2,000t/a dicamba production in April   
Nanjing Redsun to increase the capital of its foreign trade subsidiary   
Jiangsu Huifeng to invest on a clethodim project
Metazachlor grows steadily in China
Ex-factory price of Haloxyfop-P-methyl TC soared in late March
Acetochlor's price rose slightly in early April 2013
Four herbicide patents will expire in China in 2014
Metolachlor TC's export volume surpassed acetochlor TC's in 2012
Chinese herbicides Imp. & Exp. analysis in 2012
Big pesticides multinationals' registrations in China in 2012
Jiangsu Lanfeng registered tebuthiuron in mid-March 2013
Hunan Province increases its grain crop area in 2013

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