China's diquat TK capacity keeps expanding in 2023 12-22-2023

Summary: Diquat TK projects have been progressing smoothly in China in 2023. For one thing, existing diquat TK producers have been pushing for capacity expansion; for another, some new ones have revealed their project plans. Leading diquat TK producers Nanjing Red Sun, Yongnong BioSciences and Shandong Luba have new capacity added in 2022–2023; they will put more emphasis on gaining greater market share in 2024.

Diquat, an alternative to paraquat, has attracted great attention after the phase out of paraquat from Chinese market. China's diquat capacity has expanded quickly in recent years, and leading diquat TK producers finished construction of new capacity in 2022–2023. In the coming 2024, they will focus on gaining greater market share. Some other pesticide producers also announced their diquat project plans, with the hope of getting some share in this market.

Table Diquat TK capacity (potential included) in major Chinese producers
No. Producer Parent company Diquat TK capacity as of late 2023, t/a Status
1 Nanjing Red Sun Biochemical Co., Ltd. Nanjing Red Sun Co., Ltd. 25,000 Normal operation
2 Anhui Red Sun Biochemistry Co., Ltd. 10,000 In trial run
3 Ningxia Yongnong BioSciences Co., Ltd. Yongnong BioSciences Co., Ltd. 18,000 Normal operation
4 Yongnong BioSciences Co., Ltd. (Zhejiang base) 15,000 Environmental impact (EI) report has been approved
5 Dezhou Luba Fine Chemical Co., Ltd. Shandong Luba Chemical Co., Ltd. 10,000 In trial run
6 Weifang Nuchlor Chemical Co., Ltd. 13,000 EI report has been approved

Source: CCM

In terms of product structure, technology and production scale, Nanjing Red Sun Co., Ltd. (Nanjing Red Sun) has the greatest advantages in diquat industry over other domestic competitors. It is the only one that has diquat dibromide TK production lines in China. Its subsidiary Nanjing Red Sun Biochemical Co., Ltd. (Red Sun Biochemical) built up diquat TK lines—20,000 t/a diquat dichloride TK and 5,000 t/a diquat dibromide TK lines—in late 2022, and these lines meet design capacity in 2023. In March 2023, Nanjing Red Sun disclosed that it had applied for pesticide registrations for diquat dichloride products in multiple countries including Brazil, Vietnam, Myanmar, Australia and Paraguay, and had gone through the formalities in parts of them. In May 2023, Nanjing Red Sun's sub-subsidiary Anhui Red Sun Biochemistry Co., Ltd. put its 10,000 t/a diquat production capacity—phase I of the 5,000 t/a 2,2'-dipyridyl and 10,000 t/a diquat project—into trial operation, after passing environmental protection check and acceptance.


Yongnong BioSciences Co., Ltd. (Yongnong BioSciences) is another big diquat TK supplier in China. Its wholly-owned subsidiary Ningxia Yongnong BioSciences Co., Ltd. (Ningxia Yongnong) has had active diquat TK capacity of 18,000 t/a in the Ningxia production base; most of the products are now for export. According to Ningxia Yongnong, Ningxia base has easy access to raw materials, as well as cheaper energy (including water, electricity and gas) and labour, and thus it has cost advantage over others. However, compared with main competitors like Nanjing Red Sun and Shandong Luba Chemical Co., Ltd. (Shandong Luba), Yongnong BioSciences has disadvantage in geographic location and industrial chain structure. The Ningxia base is distant from the main market in southeastern parts of China, where the majority of formulation producers are located. Higher transport costs to the main market in China forced Yongnong BioSciences to accept smaller share in that market. In 2023, the majority of Ningxia Yongnong's diquat TK products have been exported from nearby ports, and long-distance transport to the southeastern parts has been basically avoided. Of course, Yongnong BioSciences will not give up domestic market. In Nov. 2023, the company revealed that the EI report of high-efficacy low-toxicity pesticides and key intermediates project had been approved; the project will construct 15,000 t/a 40% diquat TK capacity in its plant in the Hangzhou Bay Shangyu Economic and Technological Development Zone, Shaoxing City, Zhejiang Province. Through this project, Yongnong BioSciences could build better ties with the main market in China. Yet it should be noted that flagship products of Yongnong BioSciences are glufosinate-ammonium projects. Unlike Nanjing Red Sun and Shandong Luba, it has relatively weaker foundation in the business of pyridine and the derivatives.


Currently, despite smaller diquat TK capacity than that in Nanjing Red Sun and Yongnong BioSciences, Shandong Luba has solid foundations in equipment for pyridine materials, complete industrial chain and products, as well as strong market channels. With such a strong basis, the company can develop the diquat TK business fast. Its holding subsidiary Weifang Nuchlor Chemical Co., Ltd. launched a 13,000 t/a diquat TK project; EI report of the project was approved in Jan. 2023. Besides, its wholly-owned subsidiary Dezhou Luba Fine Chemical Co., Ltd. built up and put into trial run the 10,000 t/a diquat TK lines in Oct. this year; by the end of 2023, parts of the lines can supply diquat TK products stably.


Moreover, Lier Chemical Co., Ltd. (Lier Chemical), not engaged in diquat TK business so far, announced in June 2023 that it had a plan to build 20,000 t/a diquat TK capacity in its subsidiary Jingzhou Sancaitang Chemical Technology Co., Ltd. Although progress of this project had not been seen as of late 2023, Lier Chemical does have advantage in this market, considering its overall strength and product portfolio. Plus, it has obtained pesticide registration certificate for diquat TK. Apart from Lier Chemical and the active diquat TK producers, pesticide producers that have acquired registration certificate for diquat TK products in China as of Dec. 2023 are: Shandong Weifang Rainbow Chemical Co., Ltd., Shandong Weunite Biotech Co., Ltd., Guang'an Lier Chemical Co., Ltd., Anhui Costar Biochemical Co., Ltd., Anhui Guangxin Agrochemical Co., Ltd. and Jiangsu Noon Crop Science Co., Ltd.


More information can be found at CCM Herbicide China Monthly Report.


About CCM:

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