Companies in this industry manufacture fertilizers and pesticides. Major companies include Bayer and BASF (Germany), DowDuPont and Monsanto (US), Potash (Canada), and Syngenta (Switzerland). Many smaller companies are involved in mixing purchased raw materials to produce customized fertilizer compounds with special characteristics.
Demand for agricultural chemicals depends mainly on demand for various crops, which in turn depends on crop prices. The profitability of individual companies is linked to efficient operations and marketing. Big producers have large economies of scale in production. Smaller companies can compete effectively by making specialty chemicals or fertilizer mixtures for local markets. The US industry is highly concentrated. The eight largest producers of fertilizers generate around 70% of segment revenue, and the eight largest producers of pesticides generate about 75% of revenue for that segment.
Products, Operations & Technology
Fertilizers account for about 60% of US industry revenue; pesticides (including herbicides and insecticides) account for about 40%. Fertilizers are a handful of commodity chemicals that contain nitrogen, phosphorous, or potassium. Pesticides are a broader group of chemicals, but many of the biggest sellers are also commodity products.