Due to the COVID-19 spread, China witnessed a reduction in export orders during February. According to the import & export analytical data of the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China and CCM, China exported 28,152.50 tonnes of glyphosate in Feb., down 55% from the previous month and 50% from the previous year. In particular, China fulfilled export orders for 13,676 tonnes of glyphosate formulations, a decrease of 67.6% compared to the previous month, and a decrease of 65% compared to the previous year. Additionally, China fulfilled export orders for 14,477 tonnes of glyphosate TC, down 31% from the previous month and 14% from the previous year.
Due to the reduced demand for Chinese exports, the price of Chinese exported glyphosate is also falling. During February, China sold glyphosate abroad at an average price of USD 2.39 per kilogram, down 3.2% from the previous month and down 17% from the previous year. Furthermore, the average price of Chinese exported glyphosate TC was USD 3.09 per kilogram, down 2.7% from the previous month and 21% from the previous year. Here, glyphosate formulations refer to various solutions containing glyphosate-isopropylammonium at concentrations between 41% and 75%, and glyphosate TC refers to various solutions containing glyphosate TC at concentrations between 95% and 97%.
Chinese glyphosate export destinations decrease, and domestic production slows
In February, China exported glyphosate to nearly 60 countries and regions, which was almost half of the total figure from January. The top three buyers for Chinese glyphosate formulations were Australia, Nigeria and Ghana, with total import volume of 4,985 tonnes, accounting for 36.45% of China's total glyphosate formulation exports. Argentina, Brazil and Australia were the top three purchasers for China-made glyphosate TC, importing 6,432.50 tonnes in total, accounting for 44.43% of China's total glyphosate TC exports.
Most Chinese glyphosate companies were forced to suspend production in February due to the coronavirus epidemic, leaving only 70 companies to continue producing China’s export supply. Among these companies, the top 3 glyphosate formulation exporters were Zhejiang Wynca Chemical Group Co., Ltd., Shandong Weifang Rainbow Chemical Co., Ltd., and Jiangsu Good Harvest-Weien Agrochemical Co., Ltd., which exported 5,610 tonnes of glyphosate formulation in total, accounting for 41.02% of China's total exports. Zhejiang Wynca Chemical Group Co., Ltd., Youth Chemical Co., Ltd., and Fuhua Tongda Agro-Chemical Technology Co., Ltd. were the top 3 glyphosate TC exporters, selling a total of 5,471 tonnes overseas, accounting for 37.79% of China's total exports.
Environmental regulation may prevent Chinese glyphosate from making full recovery
Even as the coronavirus situation becomes less severe, the Chinese glyphosate industry is expected to face increasing pressure from China’s growing environmental regulations. Due to growing efforts from the Chinese government to enact laws protecting the environment, many glyphosate companies are hesitant to expand, and many are expected to shrink in the coming years. Furthermore, glyphosate is either banned or restricted in many major economic countries, including the United States, India, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom, and the global restrictions on glyphosate are expected to continue increasing. In particular, in Australia, one of China’s main purchasers of glyphosate, several areas including Victoria and Sydney have banned or are in the process of banning glyphosate, and officials all throughout the country are investigating alternative herbicides with the ultimate goal of ceasing the use of glyphosate altogether.
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