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Late North American spring hits Syngenta first half

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Global agrichemical manufacturer and seeds supplier Syngenta has reported a fall in half year profitability and revenues. It says a challenging first six months has led to flat crop protection sales and lower seeds sales.


The late, wet spring in the US hit the company’s seed and agchem product sales, but there was strong growth in its South American markets.


Group crop protection sales fell by 6% to $5.21bn in the half year to June 30th 2019 compared to the first six months of 2018, and seed sales by 9% to $1.6bn.


By region, seed sales fell by 30% in North America to $0.43bn, and by 9% in EMEA to $0.66bn. They were marginally lower in Latin America at $0.14bn and 10% lower in Asia Pacific at $0.16bn. Overall corn and soybean revenues were 11% lower year-on-year at $0.75bn.


Extreme weather conditions in North America severely delayed planting and reduced crop acreages, reported Syngenta.


Europe’s seed sales were affected by challenging markets and credit conditions in Eastern Europe.


North American agchems drop 14%


Syngenta’s crop protection sales rose by 19% to $1.04bn in Latin America and by 4% to $0.2bn in China.


But these increases were offset by a 14% drop in North American sales to $1.4bn and 9% lower sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) to $1.77bn. Asia Pacific sales were down 10% at $0.63bn.


The European agchem market was strong in the first quarter, with an early spring allowing a good start to crop protection applications, but this did not sustain into the second three months. North America was hit by the very difficult weather, while Asia Pacific sales were affected by drought in Australia.


“The first half of this year saw many challenges for agriculture, including historic flooding in the US that resulted in significantly late planting and severe droughts in Australia and Indonesia,” commented Syngenta chief executive Erik Fyrwald.


“Growers continue to face challenges with trade issues. Adverse weather conditions were mostly offset by strong volume growth in Latin America.”


Mr Fyrwald said the company was working with local teams to respond quickly to an increasing fall armyworm insect infestation in Asia, with a mix of advice and integrated pest management approaches, including agrichemicals, traits and biologicals products.

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