Pyrethroids are organic insecticides that are synthetic analogs of pyrethrins. Pyrethrins are natural insecticides derived from pyrethrums found in flowers of Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium and Chrysanthemum coccineum. Pyrethroids, which means ‘pyrethrin-like’, are widely used as household insecticide against arthropods (insects). It is a systemic insecticide that acts as a nervous toxin (inhibits depolarizing of the axons of the sodium voltage-gated pump) and leads to paralysis and eventual death of the targeted insects. Pyrethroids insecticides have a peculiarly short life and biodegrade immediately in the presence of sunlight due to high light sensitivity. Pyrethroids are little or non-toxic to humans and other mammals, aves and reptiles, moderately toxic to fish, amphibians and other aquatic fauna, and extremely toxic to insects. However, long term acute exposure could result into skin irritation and other diseases symptomatic of respiratory disorders in sensitive individuals.
Pyrethroids insecticides are primarily used as broad spectrum household and industrial insecticides against bugs and flying insects. These are extensively used by the household insecticide formulators across the world. Pyrethroids insecticide has been recognized as a substitute for environmentally harmful insecticides by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) when used in regulated quantities. It is the key active ingredient in a variety of insecticide formulations (more than 35,000 formulated products).
The pyrethroids insecticide market is driven by rising demand for hygiene products for the rapidly increasing global population and households. Pyrethroids are one of the safest insecticides currently in commercial use. High potency and effectiveness have earned pyrethroids the position of the preferred ingredient in household and industrial insecticides. However, supply constraints due to its natural origin are expected to be the major restraining factor of the pyrethroid insecticides market. Additionally, pyrethroids are highly susceptible to breakdown in sunlight, heat and moisture, which restricts their use in farms, fields and open spaces. In order to counter this deficiency, a second generation of pyrethroid insecticides has been developed; however, these are more toxic to mammals and other animals.
In terms of geography, Asia Pacific is the largest consumer of pyrethroid insecticides riding on high sales of insecticide products to its large population base. Emerging economies including China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are the major consumers of pyrethroid insecticides for application in a variety of insecticide formulations. Populous countries including China and India are growing rapidly and there is a general increase in prosperity of the population. This in turn is expected to drive demand for hygiene products and for pyrethroid insecticides. Major market players have established their production facilities in Asia due to the availability of cheap labor and land, and comparatively lenient norms and regulations against chemicals. Australia and Africa are the chief cultivators of the chrysanthemum flowers that are used to derive pyrethroids. North America is another key consumer of pyrethroids. Brazil, South Africa and Central Africa contribute to major demand for pyrethroids in Rest of the World. Brazil is one of the world’s most populated tropical countries, which makes it an attractive market for pyrethroid insecticide suppliers. Europe is expected to grow comparatively slower than other parts of the world due to strong government control over potentially harmful chemicals.
Some of the key players in the pyrethroids insecticide market include Monsanto, Syngenta AG, Dow AgroSciences, Bayer CropScience, Shanghai Mingdou Agrochemical Company Limited, Sumitomo Chemical Corporation and SinoHarvest Corporation.