Responding to expectations of above average growth in the Chinese agrochemical market, AkzoNobel introduced new additives that improve the performance of agrochemicals and reduce costs for farmers.

Addressing a customer seminar during AgroChemEX 2014 in Shanghai recently, Dr. Shawn Zhu, R&D Manager, AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry, US, said the company offers a range of surfactants, polymers and solvents to address new formulation challenges.

“We have adjuvants and compatibility agents for organic electrolytes, which are highly concentrated soluble liquid (SL) formulations,” said Dr. Zhu. “For fertilizer electrolytes, we offer many fertilizer electrolyte-tolerant additives that improve the compatibility of fertilizer actives with the inert ingredients.”

He said AkzoNobel also has developed a multi-active suspended concentrate (SC) formulation comprising a solid pesticide in a water soluble pesticide. These new formulation types are becoming more important on the market, he said.

Dr. Karin Bergstrom, global marketing manager, Agro Applications, AkzoNobel, said, “We expect 5 percent annual growth in Chinese agrochemicals in the next five years, well ahead of the 2 to 3 percent growth we expect in the global market.” Companies in China produce 70 percent of the world’s pesticide ingredients and export them to 170 countries.

She attributed the growth in part to “the strengthening of the domestic agrochemical industry, with four Chinese companies in the global top 20.” She said the expected growth is also due to increasing farm size, increasing use of best practices and adoption of genetically modified seeds, all of which offer the potential to boost yield.

Dr. Bergstrom said the industry is responding with higher-performing formulations to raise farmers’ yields and reduce their costs. Formulations are more complex today, she said, due to the lack of new actives and the importance of diversification to fight weed resistance. What’s more, there are more “green,” or environment-friendly, formulations.

Speaking to more than 100 formulators, distributors and agricultural executives at the seminar, Ojie San Diego, AkzoNobel marketing and sales director for Greater China, described the Chinese agricultural market and emphasized the presence and long-term commitment from AkzoNobel.

“As a key adjuvant supplier, AkzoNobel can drive these formulation trends by introducing new surfactants, polymers and solvents to address these issues and by developing customer-specific solutions in close cooperation with our customers worldwide,” San Diego said.

At AgroChemEX 2014, AkzoNobel showcased two new dispersants: Agrilan 788 and Morwet D-400. Agrilan 788 is a polymer with good dispersant properties. Further, it manages compatibility issues in suspended concentrate (SC) formulations. Morwet D-400 dispersant delivers excellent and reliable performance at a reduced cost, both in liquid (SC) and dry formulations.

“These new products are the result of our customer-focused research,” said Dr. Zhu. “The main drivers were the agricultural economy in general and the formulator in particular.