The Future of Grain Fumigants: Key Trends Shaping the Market

grain fumigants market

The worldwide food supply chain has been maintaining the quality of stored agricultural produce with essential contributions from grain fumigants. As the population grows faster and there is an ever-expanding global trade, the necessity for reliable grain fumigation solutions has gained importance because of climate change related changes in pest patterns.  Pest control chemicals, controlled-atmosphere (CA) storage, and other devices are commonly used for protecting harvested grain against pests, fungi, viruses and other micro-organisms during post-harvest storage and transport. In order to manage post-harvest losses, ensure food safety and maintain compliance with regulations, it is essential to fumigate grain after harvesting.

Grain fumigants are anticipated to experience a sharp rise in demand in the near future due to a number of factors that affect the agriculture scene. For proper pest management systems it is evident that there is necessity for adequate pest management systems in order to enhance food production and storage so as to meet the demand for food necessitated by an increasing world population. Also propelling the utilization of modern fumigation methods of preserving the standard and value of kept grains is the increased sense.  There is an increasing need for appropriate fumigation methods to spur the growth of the market because of the rising quantity of agricultural products traded worldwide. Moreover, the promising future of the market is underlined by the developments in fumigant formulations and modes of application. Furthermore, the rise of environmentally sound pest control methods also fuels the buildup in the market.

Further, phosphine-based fumigants are the most common type of fumigant used worldwide. They provide protection against insects and rodents and are used extensively for the storage of agricultural commodities. The market is dominated by North America. Many new product varieties with reduced toxicity and increased efficiency are being developed thanks to rapid investments in technology and research and development. A number of factors, including shifting farming practices, improved storage technology, and consumers’ growing desire to improve the quality of agricultural output, are responsible for the growth of the agricultural fumigants market.

Global Production Trends

Phosphine is a significant fumigant that is mostly applied to agricultural produce that has been stored to control insects and pests which is leading to the market growth. It is among the best fumigants for processing contaminated grains and flours and managing insects that infest tobacco leaves that are stored, like tobacco beetles. Methyl bromide is preferred over other disinfectants in cargo and quarantine services due to its rapid and efficient penetration capabilities. However, because of the toxicity and risks associated with methyl bromide, this disinfectant is only allowed to be used in pre-shipment quarantines and is not to be used otherwise. Apart from these two substances, other substances that are frequently utilized as fumigants are ethylene, carbon disulfide, acrylonitrile, sulfur dioxide, paradichlorobenzene, and sulfuryl fluoride.

Form Use Case

While some of the active ingredients in fumigation remain gaseous throughout preparation, packaging, and release, others are liquid when packaged and turn gaseous when released. Since the active ingredient is volatile when stored in ordinary containers, it is not formulated under pressure. Others are solids that, when applied in environments with high humidity or water vapor, release gas.

Further, the demand for commercial grain fumigants is also rising as they are carried out in railroads, ports, vehicles, containers, ships, and warehouses. Marine vessels fumigate grain when it is shipped from one port to another. Fumigating inside containers prevents insect infestations caused by temperature and humidity changes along the way. This method is also applied when the grain is transported by rail or vehicle. Since ship transport takes longer than rail/car transport, these trains usually transport grains to inland locations and require less fumigation than the ship fumigation process. The demand for fumigants from the commercial segment is the highest and fastest-growing segment due to the rise in transportation and trade services.

Market Dynamics and Drivers

Over time, there has been an increase in the need for fumigants in tandem with rising agricultural output. The most popular technique for killing bugs on rural lands at present is fumigation, which is more and more applied in the business of grain and oilseeds. Fumigation is among the perfect measures for preventing pests in silos or farm-level storehouses and watching out over pests’ resistance against sprays. Fumigation with methyl bromide (MB) is a useful method for ensuring that goods present the least amount of phytosanitary risk. Canada still mandates the use of MB as the only treatment that is authorized for certain products’ pre-shipment and quarantine needs, even though the European Union has outlawed its use.

Moreover, the global wheat stock reached 803 million tons in 2022/23, up from 780 million tons in 2021/22, according to the International Grains Council (IGC). Because of that, it is anticipated that there will be a rise in the need for agricultural warehouses, storage technologies and other things that are used together with fumigants. When most crops are kept in warehouses they are destroyed by insects; however, if fumigants are employed losses occasioned by pests are minimized. Consequently, it is anticipated that this will increase demand globally for agricultural fumigants.

Figure 1: Total Grain Production, Million Tons, Global, 2021 to 2023

total grain production

Source: International Grains Council

Key Developments

  • In April 2023, Fox Pest Control Company—a pest management company—was acquired by Rollins Inc. It offers residential client services in thirteen states. With this acquisition, the company will have a growth strategy in new U.S. regions and its brands will have new growth opportunities across multiple geographies.
  • In January 2022, to strengthen its grain orientation strategy throughout Brazil, Bunge purchased a roughly 33% stake from Sinagro as part of a partnership with UPL Limited. Sinagro’s primary objective is to offer outside assistance to end users and agri-producers in Brazil’s “Cerrado” Savanna regions. Additionally, this alliance will support both businesses in making profits and expanding their global presence. Situated in the “Cerrado” savanna of Brazil, Sinagro is a large distributor of grains and agricultural products. When it comes to sourcing, processing, and supplying grains and oilseed products and ingredients, Bunge is a global leader. The Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica (CADE), Brazil’s antitrust body, must approve the announced deal.

In conclusion, the grain fumigants market presents significant opportunities for growth and innovation, driven by rising agriculture production. While facing challenges such as fluctuation in material costs that negatively affect various industry verticals and huge investments in research and development for new and innovative production techniques, the industry is poised to capitalize on technological advancements and innovations to meet the needs of a growing global demand for grain fumigants market.

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