Pesticide sales are breaking records

Posted on 10 June 2022, 8:00

In 2021, 894 tonnes of pesticides by active substance were placed on the market in Estonia. This is the largest annual sales of pesticides in Estonia over the years. The majority of these pesticides were herbicides.

Herbicides accounted for 68%, fungicides for 17%, growth regulators for 13%, and insecticides for less than 1% of the total amount of pesticides sold. A significant increase occurred in the sales of herbicides. The sold quantities of growth regulators and fungicides increased to a lesser extent. For the second year in a row, the sales of insecticides fell by almost a half. In 2021, the smallest amount of insecticides in the last decade was placed on the market.

Swen Peterson, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that for years, various herbicides have been the most sold plant protection products. “In 2021, the sales of herbicides totalled 607 tonnes, which is nearly a fifth more than in 2020. This is the highest quantity in the years under review, also breaking the previous record of 604 tonnes of herbicides sold in 2016,” added Peterson.

Compared to other European countries, the absolute quantities of pesticides placed on the market in Estonia are relatively small. For example, in 2020, the quantities of the three major types of pesticides sold were 66,000 tonnes in Spain, 61,000 tonnes in France, and 46,000 tonnes in Italy. The sales of these three product categories in Estonia totalled 765 tonnes in 2021. The amounts of sold plant protection products per hectare of utilised agricultural area were 9 kg in Malta, 8 kg in Cyprus, and 5 kg in the Netherlands in 2020, in contrast to 0.78 kg per hectare in Estonia in 2021.

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, 2011–2021

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.

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 9191

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