Agricultural colorants are dyes and pigments used in several applications such as tracking, product coloring for dried flowers, seed coating, landscaping, ice-melt & deicing, fertilizers, dried flowers, and others. Coloring prevents in enhancing cosmetic appeal, identification or distinction amongst different product varieties, monitoring consistency, and uniformity of products.
Drivers and Restraints
Increasing demand for agricultural colorants from fertilizer industry to avoid application errors and to differentiate between qualities, is expected to fuel the growth of agricultural colorants market. According to the World Bank Organization, the global consumption of total fertilizer production was 89.78% in 2014 and reached to 94% in 2015.
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Key players operating in the global agricultural colorants market include, BASF S.E., Clariant International AG, Sensient Technologies Corporation, Lanxess Aktiengesellschaft, DIC Corporation, Chromatech Incorporated, Organic Dyes and Pigments LLC, Aakash Chemicals and Dyestuffs, Inc., Brett-Young Ltd., and Germains Seed Technology, Inc.
Furthermore, regulations to use colorants in pesticides treated seeds, to avoid misuse of treated seeds is propelling growth of the agricultural colorants market. For instance, according to the U. S. Code of Federal Regulations, 40 CFR 153.155 states that pesticide products that are used for treating seeds should contain an U.S Environmental Protection Agency dye to impart unnatural color to seeds, unless exempted under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act for residues of the pesticide.
However, several agricultural colorant manufacturers avoid use of colorant to reduce the overall price of their product, which is one of the restraining factor for the agricultural colorants market growth.
Among product type, the pigment segment is expected to witness significant growth in the global agricultural colorants market and is expected to retain dominant position over the forecast period. This is attributed to development of innovative products and techniques by various manufacturers. For instance, in December 2016, Clariant, introduced Agrocer white pigment preparation at CSS 2016 and Seed Expo, America’s largest seed industry conference. Pigment preparation offers color strength, easy dispersibility, and long shelf life.
Key market players are focused on expanding their pigment production capacities, owing to increasing demand for pigments. For instance, In February 2017, Heubach GmbH announced expansion of its anticorrosive plant in the U.S located near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by 4,000 tons.
Among application, seed treatment segment witnessed substantial growth in the global agricultural colorants market in 2016, as it offers low-cost crop protection solution. The low prices of major crops such as wheat, corn, and soybean has led to decreased profit margins for farmers. The low dosage nature of seed treatments results in lower use of pesticides and fertilizers translating into significant cost savings for farmers, in turn driving the seed treatment segment growth. Moreover, seed treatment does not require equipment and significant manpower unlike spraying, further fueling the growth of this segment.
The market in Asia Pacific is expected to witness significant growth in terms of value and is expected to retain dominant position over the forecast period. This is attributed to growing international trading of dyes and pigments. According to Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), the colorants exports was US$ 2.3 billion in 2009 – 2010 and reached to US$ 4.9 billion in 2017.
Furthermore, Europe witnessed substantial growth in the global agricultural colorants market in 2017. This growth is attributed to increasing use of agricultural colorants in gardening activities for aesthetic appeal, which in turn propels demand for turf and ornamental plants. According to The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), in 2016, consumers in the U.K. spent around US$ 1.64 billion on garden plants, US$ 1.99 billion on garden care, and US$ 1.7 billion on garden leisure.
Key players are focusing on adopting various inorganic growth strategies such as mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, partnerships, marketing, and new product launches to strengthen their foothold in the global agricultural colorants market. For instance, in 2012, Clariant launched Agrocer pigment for seed coloration, a range of colorants for the agricultural industry.
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