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GLOBAL CROP PROTECTION SALES UP 10% IN 2007
PhillipsMcDougall reports:

The value of the conventional chemical crop protection market in 2007 is estimated to have increased by 9.7% in comparison with 2006, to reach $33,390 m. It is worthwhile noting that this market value is based on the sales of agrochemical products for crop use (including forestry and plantation crops) in the prevailing agricultural season, which for the southern hemisphere country markets reflects the July 2006 /June 2007 time period.

In 2007 overall sales of the six leading companies in the industry increased by over 12%, however these results reflect sales made in the January to December time period, and hence include turnover in the first half of the 2007/08 crop year in the Southern hemisphere.

In addition to the crop protection sector, agrochemicals are also sold into a number of markets that are not related to crop cultivation and are classified as non-crop. During 2007, the overall market value for agrochemical product usage into the non-crop sector is believed to have increased by 4.2% to $5,365 m. As a result the total market for agrochemicals increased by 8.9% to $38,755 m. in 2007.

An ongoing negative influence affecting the conventional chemical crop protection sector remains the continuing expansion in the uptake of crops manipulated to express herbicide tolerance and insect resistance. In 2007 the market for these seeds increased by 20.2% to $7,275 million, following nominal dollar growth of 14.2% in 2006, 12.7% in 2005 and 19.3% in 2004.

In Asia, the underlying trend in the crop protection market, remains one of growth in the more developing agricultural based economies, but static to decline for the more industrialized countries, particulary in Japan and South Korea. During 2007, the Indian market benefited from a more normal monsoon season as well as the prevailing high crop prices. Although the Bt cotton area rose in India, insecticide use increased as pressure from non-Lepidopteran pests rose. In Australia the drought continued and this had a significant impact not only on crop plantings but also agrochemical demand in the 2006/07 season. The continued rise in demand for palm oil for use in biodiesel production, both locally and in the EU, benefited Southeast Asian markets, particularly the non-selective herbicide sector. This sector also gained from higher glyphosate prices. The Chinese agrochemical market continued to expand, driven by the growing demand for agricultural products as well as by the increasing regulations affecting agrochemical manufacture, which had a positive affect on prices. The Japanese market again declined in local currency terms, affected by further reduction in the rice planted area; this in turn led to a reduction in the sales of agrochemicals in the paddy rice sector, although agrochemical use in the orchard and vegetable sectors increased.

In Africa and the Middle East, market growth was positively influenced by countries producing fruit, vegetable and flower crops for export, particularly Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco and Tunisia. The cotton market in a number of countries gained from modest improvement in prices and a reduction in production elsewhere. In South Africa growers planted a significantly higher area of maize which more than compensated for modest falls in the planted area of wheat and sunflower. The whole region also gained from the higher prices of glyphosate.

Company Performance

At this time of year a number of companies still have to report their agrochemical results for 2007, however the following table outlines the relative agrochemical sales growth of the leading eight companies in the industry during the year.

Leading Agrochemical Company Sales in 2007

Agrochemical Sales ($m.) % Change 2007/2006
Bayer 10.8%
Syngenta 14.2%
BASF 11.1%
Dow AgroSciences* 11.2%
Monsanto** 19.7%
DuPont 8.6%
MAI 19.9%
Nufarm*** 46.1%

* Includes seed and trait revenues
** 12 month results to November 2007
*** 12 month results to January 2008


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