Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Paraquat manufacturers pursue paraquat GR

In Nov., 2012, Shandong Luba Chemical Co., Ltd. (Shandong Luba) successfully registered paraquat GR, signaling that domestic paraquat manufacturers are beginning to pursue new paraquat formulations to replace paraquat SL, according to Herbicides China News 1302 issued by CCM in February.

On 24 April, 2012, the Ministry of Agriculture of China released an official announcement that after 1 July, 2014, all current registrations and production permits regarding paraquat SL and mixed paraquat SL will be cancelled in China, except for paraquat TK manufacturers involved in paraquat export to overseas markets. And all products of paraquat SL are forbidden to be sold and used in China after 1 July, 2016.

As for Shandong Luba, a technical department manager disclosed that actually, developing various paraquat formulations is a long-term strategy of Shandong Luba and the company has made preparations for several years to secure paraquat GR registration. With the support of sufficient data from numerous experiments, Shandong Luba successfully registered paraquat GR in Nov., 2012. Moreover, the manager predicted that Shandong Luba would formally supply paraquat GR products in 2013 and the capacity may reach 1,000t/a.

Similar to Shandong Luba, domestic leading paraquat manufacturers, such as Syngenta Nantong Crop Protection Co., Ltd. (Syngenta Nantong) and Nanjing Redsun Group Co., Ltd. (Nanjing Redsun), are also speeding up their paraquat GR production plans.

As for Syngenta Nantong, it's reported that Syngenta Nantong plans to build paraquat GR production lines in China. At present, Syngenta International AG has paraquat GR registrations in some countries as well as paraquat GR production technology. Some insiders predict that Syngenta Nantong is sure to launch paraquat GR production lines, and this investment amount will be large.

In relation to Nanjing Redsun, the strategic department manager expressed that the company was speeding up its paraquat substitutive formulation research, including paraquat GR, which boasts higher content, easier storage, better stability and lower probability of accidental poisoning. However, Nanjing Redsun meanwhile revealed that new paraquat substitutive formulations would not be launched in haste, as it considers that any paraquat substitutive formulation can't take the place of paraquat SL due to its low production cost. As a result, it is suspected that Nanjing Redsun won't formally launch paraquat GR products until 1 July, 2014.

The advantages of paraquat GR are obvious, but whether paraquat GR will successfully replace paraquat SL is still in doubt, and this is what most paraquat manufacturers are concerned about. The key point is how much higher the price of paraquat GR will be than that of paraquat SL. Some insiders consider that if the retail price of paraquat GR can be controlled within two times that of paraquat SL, it should be possible for paraquat GR to be successful in China. Otherwise, it's estimated that farmers will find it difficult to accept paraquat GR.

Paraquat GR manufacture involves a grinding process, which produces highly dangerous and toxic small particles of paraquat. At present, domestic paraquat manufacturers are still finding it difficult to develop a safe grinding technique. In addition, soluble polymer membrane which is used to wrap small particles of paraquat is expensive. As a result, high cost and technical barriers are blocking the progress of most domestic paraquat manufacturers.

Even though some paraquat manufacturers have the ability to research paraquat GR manufacturing techniques, they are unwilling to invest sufficient funds in this risky project. For instance, the marketing director of Zhejiang Yongnong Chem. Ind. Co., Ltd. (Zhejiang Yongnong) expressed that paraquat business only accounted for about 30% of the total business of this company, Thus, Zhejiang Yongnong won't invest in such research.

At any rate, paraquat SL is still one of the mainstream herbicide formulations and popular in the homemade market. And it can be predicted that paraquat GR in the short-term is still unlikely to displace paraquat SL's dominance in China.

Table Contents of Herbicides China News 1302:
Huizhou Sino-quick's IPO in process
Chloropyridine herbicide pushes Lier Chemical's 2012 performance
Explosive growth expected in Sanonda in 2012   
 Yichang Huamnwell sets foot in the pesticide industry
Paraquat manufacturers pursue paraquat GR   
Fenoxaprop-P-ethyl displaces clodinafop-propargyl in China   
Pendimethalin experiences smooth supply in Jan. 2013   
Dicamba supply remains intense in early 2013   
China's state farms’ sown area in 2012 autumn and winter decreases by 2,600 ha.
The export volume of 2,4-D product largely increased during Jan.and Oct. 2012   
New registrations of herbicide technical in China in Jan. 2012 

Herbicides China News, a monthly publication issued by CCM on 15th, provides you with the latest occurrences, exclusive analysis on the market trend as well as professional reviews on competitiveness of companies, products and relative industries in China’s herbicide industry.

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