The volume of sales of pesticides in Ireland has decreased by around 20% in the past decade, according to a new report from Eurostat.

The statistical office of the European Union found that between 2011 and 2020, sales of pesticides in the EU remained relatively stable with the total volume sold annually fluctuating around the 350,000t mark.

In 2020, almost 346,000t of products were sold.

The highest sales volumes in 2020 were for fungicides and bactericides at 43% of the total, followed by herbicides, haulm destructors and moss killers at 35% and insecticides and acaricides which accounted for 14%.

In 2020, inorganic fungicides made up 57% of the fungicides and bactericides sold in the EU.

Four EU member states – Germany, Spain, France and Italy – recorded the highest volumes sold in most major groups.

Image Source: Eurostat

Between 2011 and 2020, 11 of the 16 member states for which data is available recorded lower sales of pesticides.

The sharpest decline of 38% was recorded in Czechia. Portugal, Denmark, Romania, Belgium and Ireland also reported sales that were at least 20% lower in 2020 than in 2011.

Austria (+61%) and Latvia (+77%) reported significantly higher sales of pesticides in 2020 than in 2011.

However, the volumes of pesticides sold in Latvia in absolute terms are very low, while large volumes of inert gases used in the storage of agricultural products inflate the total sold in Austria.

Eurostat said that 440t of fungicides and bactericides were sold in Ireland in 2020, compared to 620t in 2011.

There were 2,262t of herbicides, haulm destructors and moss killers sold in 2020, down from 2,812t in 2011.

Sales of insecticides and acaricides dropped from 48t in 2011 to 10t in 2020.

Plant growth regulators fell from 188t to 149t, while there was an increase in molluscicidies from 4t in 2011 to 12t in 2020.