The quantity of pesticides sold decreased in 2022

Posted on 12 June 2023, 8:00

777 tonnes of pesticides by active substance were placed on the market in Estonia in 2022, which is a sixth less than in 2021 and less than in 2020 as well. The majority of pesticides sold were again herbicides.

Herbicides accounted for 65%, fungicides for 20%, growth regulators for 12%, and insecticides for 1.2% of the total amount of pesticides sold. Compared with the year before, there was a significant decrease in the sales of herbicides and, to a lesser extent, growth regulators. The sales of fungicides continued to grow, although only slightly. After a downward trend in recent years, the quantities of insecticides sold also increased, but not very significantly.

Swen Peterson, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that for years, various herbicides have been the most sold plant protection products. “In 2022, the sales of herbicides totalled 507 tonnes, which is nearly a hundred tonnes less than in 2021. The last time less than the 2022 quantities of herbicides were placed on the market was in 2018, when 421 tonnes were sold,“ Peterson added.

Compared with other European countries, the absolute quantities of pesticides placed on the market in Estonia are relatively small. For example, in 2021*, the quantities of the three major types of pesticides sold were 69 000 tonnes in Spain, 65 000 tonnes in France, 46 000 tonnes in Germany, and 1 500 tonnes in neighbouring Latvia. The sales of these three product categories in Estonia totalled 670 tonnes in 2022.

The amounts of sold plant protection products per hectare of utilised agricultural area were 10 kg in Malta, 9 kg in Cyprus, 5 kg in the Netherlands, and 1 kg in Latvia in 2021*, in contrast to 0.79 kg per hectare in Estonia in 2022.

Pesticides are used not only for agricultural purposes but also in forestry, wood processing industry, road and railway maintenance, sports grounds and playgrounds, and parks. Some pesticides can be bought by anyone for use in home gardens.

Sales of pesticides, 2011–2022

Pesticides placed on the market are pesticides bought abroad and brought to Estonia for sale. Pesticides are used for weed, plant pest, parasite, and insect control. The use of pesticides can fluctuate from year to year depending on climate conditions and variability in plant damages and diseases.

Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data on the sales and use of pesticides for the Ministry of Rural Affairs, with the aim to obtain data on the environment in Estonia.

* For international comparisons, data on pesticide sales in other countries, published in the Eurostat database, have been used (data for the latest possible year, in this case 2021).

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database. 

For further information:                                                                  

Helen Maria Raadik
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9181

press [at]

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