26 March 1999

Strobilurins market to grow at expense of weak triazoles

STROBILURINS are set to seize almost two-thirds of the cereal fungicide market, with only top-notch triazoles surviving as mixture partners.

Doug Stevens of Morley Research Centre expects strobilurins to account for as much as 60% of the UK market by 2005. The triazoles share, currently 50%, will drop to 20-30%.

He was very surprised kresoxim-methyl and azoxystrobin captured only 15-20% of the market last year. A shortfall in supplies was the probable cause, he says. The same problem this season could limit their market share to 30%, despite demand being far greater.

"The strobilurins increasing market share will sound the death knell of the weaker triazoles like propiconazole and flutriafol," he predicts. "But the strobilurins purely protective mode of action means they will always need a 25-50% inclusion of triazole to provide curative activity, particularly for earlier treatments."

"Epoxiconazole leads the field for curative activity against the major diseases and it is able to maintain that activity at reduced doses," he says. "Because higher rates of other triazoles are needed to give a similar level of control it is a relatively cheap option."

ADASs Boxworth-based cereals specialist, Bill Clark, agrees older triazoles are under threat.

His top four triazoles are epoxiconazole, tebuconazole, cyproconazole and metconazole, scheduled for release next spring. &#42