(Food-Beverage-News.Com, January 18, 2021 ) The report “Molluscicides Market by Type (Chemical (Metaldehyde, Methiocarb, Ferric Phosphate) and Biological Molluscicides), Application (Agricultural and Non-Agricultural), Form (Pellets, and Liquid & Gel), and Region – Global Trends & Forecast to 2023″, The molluscicides market is estimated to be USD 587.8 million in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 727.8 million by 2023, at a CAGR of 4.4% during the forecast period. The high commercial losses incurred due to snail attacks on horticulture crops have increased the usage of molluscicides for these crops. Further, the golden apple snail (GAS) is among the growing species of snails that attack rice crops in Asian countries such as China and Japan. For this reason, the demand for biological molluscicides is increasing significantly across all regions.
Rain-fast characteristic—an important attribute for the increasing demand for molluscicides and increasing adoption of agrochemicals in developing countries
Rain-fastness can be defined as a characteristic that enables a molluscicide product to withstand high levels of rain and still work effectively against snails and slugs. This is a highly desired characteristic in molluscicides as most crops that use molluscicides require standing water or are close to the groundwater level. Wet conditions are suitable for the growth of mollusks and can also dilute or wash away the active ingredient. Rain-fastness enables the ingredient to remain stable and intact on the plant surface. Surfactants and wetting agents are used as additives to improve this attribute.
Continuous advancements in the technology used in agriculture have led to a shift in farming practices. With the increased export and import of agricultural commodities across different geographies, especially in developing regions, new types of harmful organisms have emerged, leading to an increase in the demand for novel active ingredient products to safeguard crops. The progress of agricultural chemistry has enabled farmers to engage in intensive crop management in countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Thailand, Vietnam, and South Korea.
Geographical limitation on molluscicide usage
Mollusks adapt to all habitats on land, with thousands of species living a fully terrestrial existence. Found on rocky, sandy, and muddy substrata, mollusks burrow, crawl, and become cemented to the surface, or are free-swimming. Snails and slugs are mostly found in tropical and temperate regions which receive heavy annual rainfall. They require moist or wet environments. Consequently, they are active at night or during periods of high humidity or rainfall. Snails are intolerant to dry conditions, which limits their presence in hot & arid regions. Hence, the high demand for molluscicide products is witnessed from farmers and customers in these habitats.
Introducing “green eco-friendly” molluscicide products and the growing awareness for mollusk control Major manufacturing players have begun producing environment-friendly molluscicide products by utilizing natural and non-harmful by-products. There are no efficient biological controls to combat invasive mollusks. The application of synthetic molluscicides has a toxic effect on non-target organisms; it affects crop establishment and causes problems of algal blooms and pesticide residue. This gives rise to the need for botanical molluscicides as an alternative. However, there is currently no effective, safe, and economically viable molluscicide formulation.
Platcom Ventures Sdn Bhd (Malaysia) developed a polyherbal molluscicide, which is an effective formulation to combat invasive mollusks, especially golden apple snails. In contrast to synthetic molluscicides that have a toxic effect on non-target organisms, this polyherbal formulation is a biological control method, with low toxicity against non-target organisms and is also biodegradable.
Bioaccumulation is the accumulation of contaminants by aquatic organisms from sources such as water, food, and suspended sediment particles. Mollusks, especially mussels, effectively filter water and trap contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides, metals, and hydrocarbons associated with oil pollution—polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Mussels generally remain at the same location for months to years and accumulate concentrations of many contaminants. They have been proposed as freshwater environmental biomonitors, especially for large rivers or for analyses over time at single locations near contaminant sources. Mussels accumulate many pollutants, including the metals cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), and copper (Cu).
The bioaccumulation process also affects other aquatic animals, microflora, and fauna plant vegetation, triggering genetic modifications and giving rise to new pesticide-resistant species.
Emerging markets for molluscicides in Asia Pacific
Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing market between 2018 and 2023. Emerging economies such as China and India play an important role in supplying active ingredients (chemicals such as metaldehyde) as raw materials to the North American and European markets.
Molluscicides is still a niche segment of the global pesticides market. Some species of mollusks, particularly certain snails and slugs can be severe pests, and when introduced into new environments, can cause imbalances in local ecosystems. Key global molluscicides manufacturers are implementing geographic expansion strategies to open new business centers with new active substances and the formulated products into wet tropical regions of Asia, South America, as well as in South Africa. Molluscicides containing active ingredients such as niclosamide, endosulfan, camellia seed cake (residue), and copper sulfate are often used to control golden snails in Asian countries such as India and Malaysia. In the Philippines, farmers stopped using molluscicides because of their high costs and adverse effects on humans and animals, while in Australia and New Zealand, slugs cause severe crop damage. In Japan, these chemicals are not registered due to their negative effects on the environment. Hence, global molluscicide manufacturers have been developing innovative and customized products based on the regional requirements, especially in the Asia Pacific and South American regions.
The key product providers in this market include Lonza Group (Switzerland), Bayer Cropscience (Germany), American Vanguard Corporation (US), BASF (Germany), Adama Agricultural Solutions (Israel), Marrone Bio Innovations (US), De Sangosse (UK), Doff Portland (UK), Certis Europe (Netherlands), PI Industries (India), Syngenta (Switzerland), and Neudorff GmbH (Germany).
Lonza Group (Lonza) is primarily engaged in developing, manufacturing, and distributing chemicals, active pharmaceutical ingredients, and biotherapeutics, globally. The company operates through two business segments—specialty ingredients and pharma & biotech. The company offers molluscicides through its specialty ingredient division that is further subdivided into agro ingredient division.