EU sales of pesticides rebounded in 2021


May 10, 2023

In 2021, 355175 tonnes of pesticides were sold in the EU. This was a moderate increase of 2.7 % compared with 2020 (346000 tonnes) and represented a further rebound back towards the medium-term annual average between 2011 and 2021.

This information comes from data on pesticide sales published recently by Eurostat. The article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article on agri-environmental indicator: consumption of pesticides.

In terms of pesticides sold, the highest sales volumes in 2021 were for ‘fungicides and bactericides’ (44 %), ‘herbicides, haulm destructors and moss killers’ (34 %) and ‘insecticides and acaricides’ (14 %).

Among EU countries, the volume of pesticides sold in 2021 were highest in Spain (21 % of the EU total), France (20 %), Germany and Italy (both 14 %). These four countries are some of the EU’s main agricultural producers.

Compared with 2011, 11 of the 16 EU countries with available data recorded a decrease in the sales of pesticides in 2021. The sharpest declines were recorded in Czechia (-36 %), Denmark (-35 %) and Portugal (-32 %), followed by Italy (-29 %) and Romania (-27 %).

In contrast, Latvia (+85%) and Austria (+68%) reported significantly higher sales of pesticides in 2021 than in 2011.

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Methodological notes

  • During the period 2011-2021, < 1% of the total sales volume were confidential values and could therefore not be included.
  • For the purpose of this article, the term ‘pesticides’ refers to plant protection products and covers the following categories: ‘fungicides and bactericides’, ‘herbicides, haulm destructors and moss killers’, ‘insecticides and acaricides’, ‘molluscicides’, ‘plant growth regulators’ and ‘other plant protection products’.