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No 563

Published twice a month March 13th 2009

Top six storm ahead in 2008

page 3

Bayer, BASF post strong 2008 results

pages 4-8

EU Ministers support GMO bans

page 9

US registration decisions level off

page 16

Brazil agrochemical industry sounds bullish

page 17

BASF prepares for US Kixor launch

page 23

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ce, UK, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Aus tria, Hun USA, Fran gary, B elg

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Jap an, Sou th Ko rea, P hilipp ines, M exico, Co sta Rica, Brazil, Ch ile, Argentina, Colombia

No 563 March 13th 2009

CONTENTS

Dear Readers, We present to you, the new look, full-colour Agrow. We have always strived hard to maintain our tradition of providing timely, reliable and high-quality news coverage and will continue to do so. It is the time of annual results and it is heartening to know that the Top Six have finished a record 2008 despite a less upbeat last quarter. In US dollar sales terms, all six grew around 10% or more compared to 2007. More importantly, the growth in all cases was more than that in 2007 - a year that was considered a turn-around for an industry striving to overcome stagnation. The comparatively muted performance in the fourth quarter of 2008 may be seen as a question mark over sustained growth but indications are that the industry has not let this dampen its enthusiasm with there being no reports of any major cutbacks. Going by the prognosis of market growth in 2009, the good times are likely to continue. The issue of genetically modified crops in Europe has been a persistent thorn in the side of the industry, and the last fortnight has not resulted in comforting news. The rejection by EU Environment Ministers of a Commission bid to force Hungary and Austria to lift their bans on EU-approved GM maize lines comes across as a regressive step. Coming on top of persistent delays in approving applications, as in the case of GM maize lines from Syngenta and Dow AgroSciences and the now-famous 12-year delay in BASF's Amflora potato, the general environment for GMO regulation can be called confusing at best. Agrow continues to be optimistic about the industry. The Agrow Awards to be held on November 11th in London will celebrate the spirit of innovation and excellence within the industry that we are proud to be a member of. We hope that you have marked out the date in your diaries. Sanjiv Rana Editor in Chief

COMPANIES

2 2 3 4 4 5-7 8 Plant Impact in BugOil global licensing deal discussions Bayer faulted over US plant fire Top six storm ahead in 2008 BASF records Q4 dip amid strong 2008 results Sichuan Huaying begins glyphosate project Bayer Q4 sales up 2% in record year Chemtura slips in fourth quarter

EUROPE

9 9 10 10 11 11 12 12 13 13 14 15 15 15 EU Ministers support GMO bans EU countries seek national decisions on GM crops More EU delays on GM crop cultivation More review ais on EU Annex I EU seed group demands GMO thresholds EFSA studies agrochemicals in protected crops Germany revokes methiocarb ban French food safety agency clears MON810 Portuguese winter cereal area falls BCPC challenges ai "black list" Turkey 2007 agrochemical market up 8% Portuguese 2008 agrochemical sales up 6% Romanian agrochemical market grows 10% Spanish cereal area to fall

AMERICAS

16 16 17 17 17 18 18 19 US registration decisions level off California to review bee risks Canadian province finalises pesticide ban Brazil agrochemical industry sounds bullish Brazil crop area up 1% Brazil recycling case settled Brazil agrochemical imports up 43% Brazil to issue new list of banned agchems

Sanjiv Rana

[email protected]

Andy Beer

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Editorial writer Robert Birkett

[email protected]

Editor in Chief

Deputy Editor

Editorial writer

Information Assistant

Advertising manager

EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTOR Dr Jackie Bird

ASIA/AUSTRALIA/AFRICA

20 20 21 22 22 China restricts glyphosate approvals China calls for biopesticide research India clarifies new GMO approval system India defers commercial approval of GM aubergine Australian summer crops inch up

Duncan Poupard

Jennifer King

Robin Baker

[email protected]

[email protected] [email protected]

SUBSCRIPTIONS Annual rate: £1,150 (t1,785) ($2,300) ENQUIRIES Sasha Jones Tel: +44 20 7017 4710 E-mail: [email protected] ADVERTISING SALES Robin Baker Tel: +44 20 7017 6774 E-mail: [email protected]

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23 23

BASF prepares for US Kixor launch Monsanto's GM cotton gets Argentine OK

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Companies Plant Impact in BugOil global licensing deal discussions

The UK plant health technology company, Plant Impact (PI Preston, Lancashire), is in "exclusive detailed discussions with one of the world's top ten agrochemical companies" for the global licensing of its essential oil-based insecticide, BugOil, by signing a non-binding letter of intent. The discussions also include a potential loan agreement of £750,000 ($1.1 million at the current rate). PI says that its prospective partner has carried out trials on BugOil to confirm efficacy and market potential. The parties intend to progress to a licensing agreement, which would be finalised during the first half of 2009. Under the terms of the proposed deal, PI's partner would have an exclusive licence to the patents, patent applications, know-how and other trade secrets of BugOil. It would also manufacture and market BugOil globally in all market segments, except home and garden and animal health. The licence would likely be for a term of 20 years or less depending on the expiration of the relevant patents. Payments would be made to PI in accordance with agreed milestones as well as royalties on sales. Under the loan agreement, PI would pay interest at a variable rate of LIBOR (London Inter-Bank Offered Rate) plus 3% per annum. The loan would be repayable over three years and up to 50% of any royalty payments by PI's prospective partner may be offset against interest and principal outstanding under the loan. The loan would be secured against PI's intellectual property. The two parties are also in discussions about access to distribution rights for certain plant nutrient technologies and products owned by PI. PI submitted the dossier for EU registration of BugOil to the UK Pesticides Safety Directorate in August (Agrow No 552, p 22). In May, it signed an exclusive agreement with the German crop protection company, DVA Agro (Hamburg), for the distribution of its BugOil product, Bionic, in Tanzania (Agrow No 543, p1).

AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

Bayer faulted over US plant fire

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed fines totalling $143,000 following a six-month investigation of an explosion and fire at its pesticide production facility in Institute, West Virginia last year. Bayer closed the production unit at the site while the investigation was being carried out (Agrow No 551, p 4). The incident resulted in two deaths. On February 26th, the OSHA listed 13 "serious" citations and notifications of penalties totalling $73,000 and two repeat violations of a 2006 assessment with a proposed fine of $70,000. Bayer has 15 days from that date to pay the fines and address the violations or contest them with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The OSHA investigation identified shortcomings in the process hazard analysis for the methomyl insecticide unit at the Institute plant. It specifically cited a failure to address "the range of safety and health effects on employees that were possible from an over pressurisation of the residue treater, which contains over 2,000 gallons [7,600 litres] of flammable liquids". It was also critical of operating procedures and employee training. The OSHA accused Bayer of failing to complete all action items developed from the 2004 methomyl unit process hazard analysis. Items that should have been completed by December 31st 2006 had not been addressed by the time of the incident in August 2008.

internal investigation...

Bayer says that it has co-operated fully with the OSHA during its investigation. The company will be studying the OSHA's findings thoroughly and "dealing with them appropriately". Bayer's own internal investigation is still ongoing. "The methomyl unit will not be restarted until we are convinced we know the cause of the accident and have taken the action necessary to ensure the unit's safe operation in the future," the company states.

COMPANIES NEWS IN BRIEF

I

COMPANIES NEWS IN BRIEF

I

Bayer settles discharge violations at US plant

Monsanto to rebrand GM crop range

Bayer has reached a settlement with the US EPA over a range of environmental violations at its agrochemical plant in Institute, West Virginia. Bayer will pay a fine of $112,500 and spend more than $900,000 on environmental projects. The settlement is unrelated to the explosion and fire at the site last year (see this page). It relates to inspections carried out in 2001, when the site was operated by the legacy company, Aventis CropScience. There were 35 incidents between 1999 and 2001 when chemical discharges violated permitted limits, the EPA notes.

Monsanto is to start marketing its genetically modified crops under the "Genuity" brand from 2010. The move is aimed at simplifying farmer choice and reducing confusion in the market, Monsanto says. Products to be sold under the Genuity brand include Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans, VT Triple PRO maize, Bollgard II cotton, Bollgard II with Roundup Ready Flex cotton and SmartStax maize. Seed bags will carry icons representing insect protection, herbicide tolerance, weather protection or increased productivity to illustrate the benefits the traits offer.

2 www.agrow.com

©Informa UK Ltd 2009

AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

Companies

BASF's agrochemical sales were 13% ahead in euros at the ninemonth stage, but a 6% decline in the fourth quarter depressed annual growth. The company saw annual sales growth in South America, Asia and Europe, but a significant decline in North America. Volumes were up by 10% and prices by 4%, offset by a 5% decline from currency impacts. Monsanto reported agrochemical sales growth of nearly 50% in the year ending August 31st 2008, prior to the economic downturn. The company benefited from strong demand and higher prices for its herbicide, Roundup (glyphosate). Prices were higher in all regions, with significant increases in Latin America and Europe. Monsanto's exceptional growth propelled it above Dow AgroSciences in the Agrow sales ranking despite Dow's 20% revenue increase. Dow's agrochemical sales dipped in the fourth quarter, but seed and trait sales boosted revenues. The company saw price and volume gains for its agrochemical business in each of the prior three quarters. Dupont also recorded a decline in agrochemical sales in the fourth quarter, but year-end sales were up by some 10%. Agrochemical sales increased by 21% in the second quarter and rose strongly in the third quarter.

Top six storm ahead in 2008

All of the six leading agrochemical companies posted strong sales growth in 2008. In every case, the rate of growth exceeded that seen in the previous year, when the top four posted double-digit increases in dollar terms. Last year was an exceptional one for the agrochemical industry and could have been even better if growth had not slowed in the fourth quarter as the global economic downturn impacted results. Syngenta took top spot in Agrow's dollar-based ranking following agrochemical sales growth of almost 27%, or 22% at constant exchange rates. The company posted double-digit increases in all of its business regions, led by a 43% hike in dollar terms in Latin America. Syngenta saw double-digit growth for all product categories. The two German multinationals, Bayer CropScience and BASF, recorded almost identical pesticide sales growth of 9% in euros, or 17% in dollar terms. Bayer's crop protection revenues grew by 12% in euros, or by 16% after currency and portfolio adjustments. Sales were up in all regions, with double-digit increases in Europe and Latin America. However, non-crop pesticide sales were down by 11% from the previous year.

Agrochemical1 sales of the leading companies 2008 (2007)

Ranking Company $ million2 Reporting currency - millions % change vs 2007 ($) +26.7 +16.9 +16.7 +47.6 +20.0 +9.8 % change vs 2007 (reporting currency) +26.7 +8.9 +8.7 +47.6 +20.0 +9.8

1 2 3 4 5 6

(2) (1) (3) (5) (4) (6)

Syngenta3 Bayer CropScience4 BASF Monsanto5 Dow AgroSciences6 DuPont7

9,231 8,721 5,013 4,996 4,535 2,600

(7,285) (7,458) (4,297) (3,385) (3,779) (2,369)

$9,231

t5,930 t3,409

$4,996 $4,535 $2,600

($7,285) (t5,444) (t3,137) ($3,385) ($3,779) ($2,369)

1 unless otherwise stated; 2 converted using average annual exchange rates for 2008 and 2007; 3 excludes seed sales of $2,442 million in 2008 and $2,018 million in 2007; 4 excludes BioScience sales of t452 million in 2008 and t382 million in 2007; 5 year ended August 31st 2007/08 - includes some animal health products, excludes seed and trait sales of $6,369 million in 2008 and $4,964 million in 2007; 6 includes undisclosed seed and trait sales; 7 excludes seed sales, which amounted to some $4,000 million in 2008.

©Informa UK Ltd 2009

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Companies BASF records Q4 dip amid strong 2008 results

BASF saw a decline of 5.8% in fourth-quarter crop protection revenues to t668 million ($851.8 million at the current rate) amid strong annual results, showing 8.7% growth over the previous year. Appreciation of the US dollar and Japanese yen leading to a positive currency effect of 3% in the quarter could not offset a volume decline of 9% at stable prices. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) declined 8.3% to t99 million ($126.2 million), while EBIT decreased by 3.7% to t705 million ($898.9 million). Fourth-quarter sales declined in Europe mainly because "customers had brought forward their purchases to the third quarter", the company says. Demand remained strong in North America while Asia grew on account of the growth in the fungicides business. In South America, demand was muted for products for use on sugar cane due to lower prices for sugar and ethanol.

AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

In Asia, higher volumes drove sales growth of 15.8% to t315 million. BASF's rice fungicide, Arashi (orysastrobin), and the soybean herbicide, Pursuit (imazethapyr), were "particularly successful" in Japan and India, respectively. Sales in South America increased 20.2% to t769 million, driven mainly by the successful launch of products under the AgCelence umbrella. The brand was launched in Brazil in 2007 and includes the fungicides, boscalid and pyraclostrobin, and the insecticide, fipronil (Agrow No 523, p 19). BASF chairman Dr Jurgen Hambrecht says that the company plans to "keep expenditures for research and development at the same level as in previous years in order to ensure our long-term success". The acquisition of the the UK-based professional pest management company, Sorex Holdings (Agrow No 559, p 2), will help the company strengthen its business in North America and Europe in the general pest control segment, which it expects to grow faster than the crop protection business in the long term.

annual results...

Buoyed by strong growth in the first three quarters of 2008, BASF recorded annual revenues of t3,409 million, posting 8.7% growth. A volume increase of 10% and price rise of 4% were able to more than offset negative currency effects of 5%. EBITDA increased by 26% to t905 million while EBIT grew 36% to t705 million. The EBITDA margin, at 26.5%, exceeded the company's target of 25%.

Sichuan Huaying begins glyphosate project

Construction work has begun on Chinese agrochemical company Sichuan Huaying Chemical's 10,000 tonnes/year glyphosate herbicide production facility, Chinese media report. Located in Xinjin industrial park in China's Sichuan province, the Yuan 235 million ($34.4 million) facility will be the largest glyphosate production plant in the province. The company forecasts that the project, expected to be completed by October this year, will realise Yuan 350 million ($51.2 million) in annual sales. Sichuan Huaying believes that as the area of genetically modified glyphosate-tolerant crops increases, the worldwide demand for glyphosate will rise at a rate of 15% every year. Sichuan province produces some 30,000 tonnes of glyphosate a year. After construction work on Sichuan Huaying's facility is completed, the company will become Sichuan's largest glyphosate manufacturer. It will increase the province's glyphosate production capacity by 30%. Glyphosate is China's most exported agrochemical, and the Ministry of Agriculture expects the Chinese agrochemical industry to be spurred by rising glyphosate prices this year (Agrow No 560, p 20). Some 50% of Sichuan Huaying's pesticide products are reportedly exported to eastern Europe and South America.

BASF agricultural solutions results (t million)

Year-end Dec 31st Sales EBITDA1 EBIT2 Fourth quarter Sales EBITDA1 EBIT2 2007 ($ million) 3,137.0 (4,000.0) 718.0 (915.5) 516.0 (657.9) 709.0 108.0 54.0 (904.0) (137.7) (68.9) % change +8.7 +26.0 +36.6 -5.8 -8.3 -3.7 2008 ($ million) 3,409.0 (4,346.8) 905.0 (1,154.0) 705.0 (898.9) 668.0 99.0 52.0 (851.8) (126.2) (66.3)

1 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation; 2 earnings before interest and tax.

European sales increased by 7.5% to t1,544 million. Favourable weather conditions led to increased use of BASF's cereal fungicides. Strong sales increases were also recorded in the growing markets of central and eastern Europe. North American sales declined to t781 million. Negative currency effects, leading to a weak annual average for the US dollar, "significantly impacted sales". Another reason was the decline in non-crop applications due to the housing crisis impacting demand, although it was "largely offset by very strong growth" for the strobilurin fungicide, Headline (pyraclostrobin). BASF says sales were "significantly above" the previous year's levels when adjusted for currency effects.

COMPANIES NEWS IN BRIEF

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Monsanto acquires MDM Sementes de Algodao

Monsanto has acquired the Brazilian cotton seed company, MDM Sementes de Algodao (Uberlandia). Monsanto has had a stake in the firm since 2007 as part of its acquisition of the US seed firm, Delta and Pine Land (Agrow No 521, p 1). It bought the remaining 49% holding in MDM this month. Monsanto's aim is to expand its network of licensees in Brazil, it says.

4 www.agrow.com

©Informa UK Ltd 2009

AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

Companies

Bayer Q4 sales up 2% in record year

Bayer CropScience's fourth-quarter crop protection sales rose by 2.2% in 2008 to t1,124 million ($1,433 million at the current rate). Currency and portfolio-adjusted revenues were up by 1.4%. Insecticides and fungicides grew, while herbicides and seed treatments lost ground. Bayer raised prices by 3-4% in the fourth quarter. The results followed a near 15% rise in sales during the first nine months (Agrow No 555, pp 6-8). The herbicide segment remained the largest in the crop protection business, despite its drop in sales to t364 million. Sales of fungicides rose to t331 million, but the main boost came from insecticide sales, which grew by almost 5% to t321 million. Seed treatment sales were off by a quarter at t108 million. The company was hit by bans on some seed treatments in countries such as Italy and Germany over concerns for the health of bees (Agrow No 561, p 10). That cost Bayer t15 million in sales, it says. The Latin America/Middle East/Africa region became the largest of Bayer's crop protection regional businesses. Sales rose by 10.4% to t392 million and by 9.8% after currency and portfolio adjustments. Insecticides and fungicides drove growth. Business declined heavily in Bayer's previous-largest region, Europe. Sales were down by 12.4% (-10.3% after adjustments) to t331 million. Herbicide business in the UK was lower due to wet weather, while fungicide revenues dipped in France, and maize seed treatments fell. Sales in North America grew by 7.5% (-0.5%) to t173 million. Increased sales for insecticides and fungicides compensated for lower demand for seed treatments. The Asia/Pacific region saw strong sales of insecticides and fungicides. Revenues in the region were up by 10.7% (+9.6%) to t228 million. Higher prices and savings through restructuring helped to raise profitability, despite higher raw material, energy and marketing costs. Bayer's crop protection business' underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 7.5% to t158 million in the fourth quarter. Underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) jumped by more than half to t52 million. The EBITDA margin rose from 13.4% to 14.1% of sales.

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annual crop protection revenues...

Bayer acclaimed the company's annual crop protection sales as "the best performance in [its] history". Annual sales were up by 11.7% to t5,339 million and by 16.4% after currency and portfolio adjustments. Volume sales and prices rose. Currency-adjusted sales of products launched since 2000 rose by more than a third to t1,800 million. Sales of all business units "improved significantly". Last year saw more favourable weather conditions than in 2007, Bayer explains. Low inventories, rising continued on page 6

Analytical Chemistry Ecotoxicology Environmental Fate / 14C Studies Field Studies Global Project Management Regulatory Affairs

I I I I I

STRONGER TOGETHER

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Companies

...Bayer continued demand for crops as biofuel and high agricultural commodity prices in the first half of the year led to increased investment in "innovative" crop protection products. The herbicide business remained Bayer's top segment within crop protection. Sales advanced by 7.6% to t1,856 million. Sales of fungicides grew most strongly, rising by nearly a quarter to top t1,500 million. New products were another key growth driver, the company adds. The insecticide business advanced by 8% to t1,275 million and seed treatment sales by 6.3%. EBITDA before special items was up by 27.8% to t1,397 million. Higher volumes were the main reason for the growth. Increased prices and greater margins from new products also contributed, Bayer says. EBIT before special items was up by more than half (+52.2%) to t962 million.

AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

maize, small-grain cereals and canola posted strong gains. Herbicides introduced in 2008 were "very successful". They were the maize and cereal herbicides, Laudis (tembotrione), and Huskie (pyrasulfotole + bromoxynil). Bayer also saw strong sales of its insecticides, Oberon (spiromesifen), Movento and Belt (Nihon Nohyaku's flubendiamide). Sales in the Asia/Pacific region were up by 6.4% (+12.2%) at t818 million. India, South-East Asian and China led the way. There was a "tangible recovery" in Australia following two years of drought.

Bayer's crop protection sales by region (t million)

Year-end Dec 31st Europe Latin Am/Middle East/Africa North America Asia/Pacific Fourth quarter Europe Latin Am/Middle East/Africa North America Asia/Pacific

1

2007 ($ million)1 2,035 (2,594)

% change +11.9 +18.8 +7.3 +6.4 -12.4 +10.4 +7.5 +10.7

2008 ($ million)1 2,277 1,265 979 818 331 392 173 228 (2,903) (1,613) (1,248) (1,043) (422) (500) (221) (291)

1,065 (1,358) 912 (1,163) 769 (981) 378 355 161 206 (482) (453) (205) (263)

Bayer's crop protection sales by category (t million)

Year-end Dec 31st Herbicides Fungicides Insecticides Seed treatments Total Fourth quarter Herbicides Fungicides Insecticides Seed treatments Total

1

2007 ($ million)1 1,725 1,270 1,181 605 4,781 (2,200) (1,619) (1,506) (771.4) (6,096)

% change +7.6 +23.2 +8.0 +6.3 +11.7 -2.2 +4.6 +19.9 -25.5 +2.2

2008 ($ million)1 1,856 1,565 1,275 643 5,339 364 321 331 108 1,124 (2,367) (1,996) (1,625) (820) (6,808) (464) (409) (422) (138) (1,433)

at the current rate.

372 (474) 307 (391) 276 (352) 145 (185) 1,100 (1,403)

top ais...

The share of sales for Bayer products containing active ingredients that have been launched since 2000 rose from 40% of crop protection sales in 2007 to 42% last year. Bayer's best-selling ai remains by a wide margin the insecticide, imidacloprid. Its sales grew again after a slight fall in 2007 (Agrow No 539, p 5). The largest increase in sales among the top ais was for trifloxystrobin-based fungicides, such as Stratego and Nativo. Sales of the fungicides rose by more than half to t365 million. Prothioconazole-based fungicides were also major risers and leapt to third place in the ranking from ninth. Sales of Atlantis rose strongly. It became Bayer's fourth-strongest product. The only new entrant to the top ten was Fandango, sales of which grew by 65%. It replaced the herbicide, Betanal (phenmedipham), in the ranking. Bayer was granted approval for its fungicide, fluopicolide, last year in Japan and the US (Agrow No 539, p 22) for the control of late blight (Phytophthora infestans) on potatoes in Japan, and on vegetables, grapevines and turf in the US. The insecticide, Movento (spirotetramat), was approved in the US and Canada (Agrow No 547, p 19). Bayer expects global annual sales of around t200 million for the insecticide. The first approval for the maize herbicide, thiencarbazone-methyl, came last year in Romania, where it is to be marketed as Adengo (Agrow No 551, p 22). US approval followed and it is introducing the ai in combination with isoxaflutole as Corvus (Agrow No 555, p 23).

at the current rate.

regional sales...

Bayer's major market, Europe, saw sales rise by 11.9% to t2,277 million. Currency and portfolio-adjusted sales were up by 13.3%. The suspension of the set-aside system in the EU boosted cereal crop farming, benefiting Bayer's cereal products. They included the prothioconazole-based fungicides, Fandango and Proline, and the herbicides, Atlantis (mesosulfuron-methyl), and Puma (fenaxaprop-Pethyl). Business was particularly strong in France, Germany and the UK, Bayer says. Latin American business boomed. Currency-adjusted sales in Brazil rose by almost half, with double-digit growth in all business units. Higher revenues in Latin America more than made up for falling sales in the Middle East and Africa. Sales in the Latin America/Middle East/Africa region rose by 18.8% (+26.3%) to t1,265 million. Key performers were the fungicides, Nativo (trifloxystrobin + tebuconazole) and Sphere (trifloxystrobin), the herbicide, Soberan (tembotrione), and the insecticide, Connect (imidacloprid + beta-cyfluthrin). Sales in North America rose by 7.3% (+15.1%) to t979 million. The fungicides, Stratego (trifloxystrobin + propiconazole), Proline (prothioconazole), and Folicur (tebuconazole), for use on soybeans,

6 www.agrow.com

©Informa UK Ltd 2009

AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

Companies

Bayer's CropScience results by business area (t million)

1

Bayer's leading products/ais (t million1)

Product (ai) 2007 ($ m)

1

% change

2008 ($ m)

Year-end Dec 31st Total sales Crop Protection Environmental Science BioScience EBITDA2 EBIT3 Fourth quarter Total sales Crop protection Environmental Science BioScience EBITDA2 EBIT3

2007 ($ million)1 5,826 4,781 663 382 1,204 656 1,321 1,100 148 73 142 -42 (7,285) (6,210) (845) (487) (1,535) (836) (1,684) (1,403) (189) (93) (181) (-54)

% change +9.5 +11.7 -10.9 +18.3 +20.4 +39.9 +2.3 +2.2 -10.8 +31.5 na na

2008 ($ million)1 6,382 5,339 591 452 1,450 918 1,352 1,124 132 96 29 -113 (8,138) (6,807) (754) (576) (1,849) (1,171) (1,724) (1,433) (168) (122) (37) (-144)

Confidor/Gaucho/ Merit (imidacloprid I/ST/ES) Flint (trifloxystrobin F) Proline (prothioconazole F) Atlantis (mesosulfuron H) Folicur (tebuconazole F/ST) Basta/Liberty (glufosinateammonium H) Poncho (clothianidin I/ST) Puma (fenaxaprop-P-ethyl H) Decis (deltamethrin I/ES)

556 (709) 243 (310) 175 (223) 207 (264) 235 (300) 241 (307) 237 (302) 187 (238) 178 (227)

+7.7 +50.2 +40.6 +17.9 +3.0 -2.5 -5.9 +8.6 -1.7 +65.0

599 (764) 365 (465) 246 (314) 244 (311) 242 (309) 235 (300) 223 (284) 203 (259) 175 (223) 132 (168)

Fandango (prothioconazole F) 80 (102) Total 2,339 (2,982)

1

+13.9 2,664 (3,397)

at the current rate. Key: I = insecticide; F = fungicide; H = herbicide; ST = seed treatment; ES = Environmental Science.

1 at the current rate. 2 CropScience earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation; 3 CropScience earnings before interest and taxes.

CropScience...

Fourth-quarter sales for the entire CropScience division rose by 2.3% (+1.7%) to t1,352 million. The division includes the seed and trait BioScience and the non-crop pesticide Environmental Science businesses as well as crop protection. Fourth-quarter sales in the non-crop business suffered from the general economic downturn, falling by 11.9% after adjustments. Sales in the US were "lousy" and demand for products for use on golf courses fell heavily. The fall was more than compensated by business at BioScience, where sales were up by a third. CropScience's underlying EBITDA for the final quarter rose by 2.2% to t182 million, and EBIT came in 23.2% higher at t53 million. Annual sales at CropScience rose by 9.5% (+13.9%). The division hit sales and EBITDA targets. The 2009 target of 25% EBITDA margin was achieved a year early. Werner Wenning, Bayer group CEO, says that 2008 saw a record performance in the division, with the highest underlying earnings ever. "Profitability is among the best in the industry", he adds. Environmental Science sales fell by 10.9% (-7%). There were lower sales for professional users in the US green industry. The poor economic conditions and strong generic competition were behind the fall, Bayer says. It also posted lower sales of specialty products. The BioScience sales were up by 18.3% (+18.8%). Canola and cotton performed well in North America, while rice products sold well in Asia. Vegetable products had "encouraging gains" in Asia, eastern Europe and the Middle East. BioScience is the only business that Bayer sees as having room for expansion. The major growth crops of maize and soybeans are not among Bayer's portfolio. "That's where we could strengthen," Bayer CropScience CEO Dr Friedrich Berschauer notes EBITDA for the year before special items rose by 21.1%. EBIT before special items was up by a third to over t1,000 million.

outlook...

Price increases of 3-4% in the fourth quarter of last year will account for projected growth in 2009, Dr Berschauer notes. Volumes are likely to be flat, he says. "There is less room for volume growth, with acreages already up in 2008, as in Europe," he explains. Bayer aims to maintain the 25% EBITDA margin. Dr Berschauer is not concerned at the fall in European sales in the last quarter, blaming exceptional conditions such as "lousy weather" in the UK. "I'm very optimistic for 2009." The start to the year in Brazil "was OK", and the company does not expect a significant impact on demand in Brazil this quarter, saying that credit conditions were looking "quite good". There have been concerns in the country over credit facilities for the purchase of inputs for the new season. Bayer says it will "monitor the situation closely" in Brazil, as well as in Russia and eastern Europe. Bayer believes that crop protection will not be as impacted by the international financial crisis as other industries, such as Bayer group's material science business. The company is not seeking to make acquisitions. "Our priority is liquidity and reduction of net debt." It says that it has a "complete portfolio", a strong pipeline, and is "in good shape across the world".

COMPANIES NEWS IN BRIEF

I

Gowan/Nichino US herbicide deal

The US agrochemical company, Gowan (Yuma, Arizona), has entered into a US marketing agreement with Nihon Nohaku's US subsidiary, Nichino America (Wilmington, Delaware), for Nichino's herbicide, pyraflufen-ethyl. Gowan has introduced the herbicide as Vida, a pre-plant burndown treatment for a range of crops. The deal strengthens Gowan's presence in the cereal, vegetable and row crop markets. Nichino introduced pyraflufen-ethyl as ET in 2003 (Agrow No 426, p 26).

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Companies Chemtura slips in fourth quarter

Improved sales volumes for Chemtura's crop protection business in the fourth quarter of 2008 were offset by unfavourable currency effects and a product divestment in the fourth quarter of 2007. Fourth-quarter sales dipped by 3.3% to $88 million (Agrow No 562, p 3). Higher volumes boosted sales by $4 million. While credit availability slowed orders in some emerging economies, demand from other regions offset this impact, Chemtura points out. The strengthening of the US dollar cut fourth-quarter revenues by $6 million. The quintozene-based fungicides, Turfcide and Terraclor, contributed sales of $1 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. The product line was sold to American Vanguard during the quarter (Agrow No 534, p 5). The product sale was largely responsible for a 16.7% decline in quarterly operating profit for the crop protection business to $15 million. Higher volumes and lower administrative costs were offset by higher raw material costs. Operating income as a proportion of sales slipped from 20% in the fourth quarter of 2007 to 17% in the same period last year. On a pro forma basis, profitability remained flat. Higher sales in Europe and Latin America contributed to doubledigit revenue gains in the second and third quarters of 2008 (Agrow passim). Overall sales for the year were up by 11.9% to

AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

$394 million, while operating profit grew by 34.5% to $78 million.

Chemtura's crop protection results ($ million)

Year-ended Dec 31st Sales Operating profit Fourth quarter Sales Operating profit 2007 352 58 91 18 % change +11.9 +34.5 -3.3 -16.7 2008 394 78 88 15

Chemtura expects to see further sales and earnings growth from its crop protection business in 2009. Along with its consumer products business, these sectors are "less exposed to the macroeconomy" than other parts of Chemtura's operations, the company's president, chairman and CEO, Craig Rogerson, points out. Chemtura's manufacturing plants for sectors other than crop protection and consumer products have been placed on a "make to order" basis. The company is pursuing asset divestitures to secure its future liquidity. The sale process is progressing, with certain buyers working to complete due diligence. "Upon completion of due diligence, it is expected that buyers will submit final offers and the company will be able to determine if a transaction can be completed and, if so, what the net proceeds may be," Chemtura says.

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AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

Europe EU countries seek national decisions on GM crops

EU member states should be given individual powers to decide on whether or not to approve genetically modified crops, says the Netherlands. It has urged the European Commission to prepare proposals to change existing EU GMO registration rules so that "member states themselves should be able to decide in the case of domestic production". The Dutch delegation made its statement at the February meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health. At the meeting, member states failed to agree on whether or not to accept Commission proposals to order France and Greece to lift their bans on the cultivation of Monsanto's MON810 maize (Agrow No 562, p 10). The Dutch officials voted for the Commission action, because it was "in full accordance with EU rules". Nevertheless, they argued that the rules "no longer fully and adequately reflect developments in society and the concerns current within the EU". EU member states in the Committee or in EU Ministers' meetings have been unable to reach a consensus on every GM crop approval application in recent years. In each case, the Commission has been free to go ahead with all the approvals. The Netherlands said that new procedures must be initiated "as a matter of urgency, so that the socio-economic dimension can be taken into account in the assessment". However, the chances of EU-wide agreement seem remote. In December, EU Environment Ministers rejected a call from France to incorporate socio-economic criteria into GM crop assessments (Agrow No 558, p 8).

EU Ministers support GMO bans

EU Environment Ministers have rejected a bid by the European Commission to force Hungary and Austria to lift their bans on EU-approved genetically modified maize lines. The Commission had submitted proposals concerning Hungary's ban on Monsanto's insect-resistant MON810 maize and Austria's ban on MON810 and Bayer CropScience's glufosinate-tolerant T25 maize (Agrow No 561, p 8 and No 562, p 10). The Ministers have previously blocked similar Commission action against the bans over the last two years. The European biotechnology industry association, EuropaBio, responded to the decision with "profound disappointment".

qualified majority...

The votes against the Commission were carried by a qualified majority. Only Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands and the UK supported all the Commission's proposals. Romania sided with the Commission on T25 only, while Sweden voted for lifting the bans on MON810 only. Hungary and Austria had invoked the safeguard clause under the EU GMO registration Directive (2001/18), which permits prohibitions based on health and environment concerns. However, these must be scientifically justified. In each case, the European Food Safety Authority had ruled that Hungary and Austria had provided no new evidence to support their bans (Agrow No 548, p 8 and 558, p 9).

specific measures...

Nevertheless, the Ministers stood by the countries' rights under the legislation to restrict the use and sale of a GM crop. They also based their decision on conclusions adopted at the Ministers' December meeting (Agrow No 558, p 8). The conclusions state that existing authorisation procedures make it possible to take specific measures, including prohibiting cultivation, to protect fragile ecosystems or regions with specific agronomic and environmental characteristics, they said. The Ministers further justified their decision on the grounds that the two GM lines were approved under the former EU GMO registration Directive (90/220). This was replaced by Directive 2001/18, which contains harmonised environmental risk assessment criteria. The maize lines have not yet been reassessed in accordance with Directive 2001/18, they said.

EUROPE NEWS IN BRIEF

I

Average EU agchem prices rise in 2008

The average EU price index for agrochemicals increased by 6.5 percentage points in 2008, compared with 2007, says Eurostat, the European Commission's statistical service. In 2007, the increase was just 1.6 points. When adjusted for inflation, pesticide prices rose by 2.1 points in 2008, following a fall of 0.7 points in 2007. The index is calculated from a base level of 100 in the reference year of 2000.

I

EU considers research on buffer zones

worrying vote...

EuropaBio describes the vote as "worrying". "Why make tough laws in Europe on GMOs, only to ignore them?" says Nathalie Moll, the association's executive director of green biotechnology. "It is incomprehensible that some member states choose to ignore the overwhelming scientific evidence as to the safety of these GM products and the commercial reality of their safe growth and consumption for more than a decade around the world," she adds.

Recent research has concluded that, while spray drift of pesticides can have short-term effects on individual aquatic invertebrates, there is no evidence to suggest that there is an impact on populations as a whole, says the European Commission's Environment Directorate General. No-spray buffer zones were shown to be a simple and effective measure to reduce the impact of pesticides on these organisms, it adds. The UK researchers studied pesticide applications to wheat fields alongside a stream. Three sections of the stream were surveyed: one with a 6 m buffer zone; one with no buffer zone; and a control section with no pesticide use. The study suggests that any adverse effect was temporary.

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9

Europe More EU delays on GM crop cultivation

Industry has condemned another failure by EU member states to agree on whether or not to approve the cultivation of genetically modified crops. The EU Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health could not reach a consensus on applications for Syngenta's insect-resistant Bt11 maize and Dow AgroSciences/DuPont's insect-resistant 1507 maize. The European Commission's proposals to authorise the crops will now go forward for consideration by EU Environment Ministers. The two GM lines already hold EU approval for import and use in food and feed, but the applications for cultivation have been held up at the Commission's Environment Directorate-General for over a year. That delay ended when Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas was forced to submit a proposal for approval to the committee after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) dismissed his environmental objections in November (Agrow No 556, p 12). Syngenta is frustrated by the delays. "This decision only adds to our frustration with the lengthy and unscientific process to get our safe Bt11 maize product approved in Europe. All of the evidence before member states provides a firm basis for authorisation," the company says. The "long-awaited vote could have marked a watershed for the current slow and highly politicised approach to authorising biotech crops in Europe", it adds. Dow also regrets that "member states failed to cast a deciding vote based on scientific evidence and common sense, further delaying the opportunity for European farmers to have additional choice in planting insect-resistant maize that will improve their competitiveness and reduce the impact of agriculture on the environment". 1507 maize has had three positive safety opinions from the EFSA, it points out. EuropaBio, the European biotechnology industry association, expresses "disappointment" about the vote "despite the many scientific confirmations of the safety" of the two GM maize lines. It points out that "several" member states supported the approvals and it urges more countries to vote according to the EFSA's assessments.

AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

If EU Ministers fail to reach the majority required to reject the proposals, the Commission will be able to go ahead with the approvals.

More review ais on EU Annex I

The European Commission has confirmed the re-registration of: the insecticide, tebufenpyrad; the herbicide, bensulfuron; and the plant growth regulators, sodium 5-nitroguaiacolate, sodium onitrophenolate and sodium p-nitrophenolate. The active ingredients will be added to Annex I of the EU agrochemical registration Directive (91/414) on November 1st 2009. The ais were in the third round of the EU review of existing ais (Agrow No 560, p 9). EU member states have until April 30th 2010 to check that existing approvals comply with the uses approved in Annex I. They then have until April 30th 2014 to re-register products containing these ais according to the conditions laid out in the Annex. The conditions for tebufenpyrad stipulate that member states should pay particular attention to appropriate risk mitigation measures to protect operators, workers, aquatic organisms and insectivorous birds. They must also request additional information, to be submitted by October 31st 2011, to confirm that no relevant impurities are present, and to further address the risk to insectivorous birds. However, when assessing products containing tebufenpyrad in formulations other than water-soluble bags, any necessary data must be provided before the authorisations are granted. For bensulfuron, member states must ensure the protection of aquatic organisms and ground water. Further data are required by October 31st 2011 on: the specification; the degradation rate of bensulfuron-methyl in flooded soils; and relevant metabolites for consumer risk assessment. For the three plant growth regulators, member states must: confirm the specification of the technical material; and ensure the protection of operators and workers, and ground water. Further studies are required by October 31st 2011 to address the risk to ground water.

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AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

Europe

establish thresholds was most recently urged by the Food Chain Evaluation Consortium (Agrow No 560, p 9) and by EU Environment Ministers (Agrow No 558, p 8). "The European seed industry considers it incomprehensible and unacceptable that the Commission is still not answering this unanimous request," the ESA says.

EU seed group demands GMO thresholds

The European Seed Association (ESA) has called on the European Commission to "urgently" issue legislative proposals on setting thresholds for genetically modified material in conventional seed. The ESA expressed its "frustration" in March over the Commission's failure to act on the issue despite the ESA and others highlighting the need for thresholds for the last ten years. Recent figures on the increasing global GM crop area, including a 21% rise for the seven GM crop-growing countries in the EU (Agrow No 562, p 12), show that "the presence of GMOs in seed or harvested crops cannot be excluded", the ESA says. GMO thresholds and labelling rules have been in place for food and feed for several years. However, discussions on seed have repeatedly failed to reach agreement on suitable values. The resulting "zero tolerance" policy has caused problems for the seed trade. In addition, the absence of EU-wide rules has led to a number of different procedures established by EU member states, the ESA says. "Instead of an increasing understanding of the severe economic and legal problems caused by this inaction, we feel that we face an increasing lack of willingness to assume the responsibility and take leadership in this Commission," says ESA secretary general Garlich von Essen. The ESA stresses that it has widespread support. Action to

EFSA studies agrochemicals in protected crops

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued two studies on emissions of agrochemicals used in protected crop systems. They will contribute to the EFSA's development of new guidance on evaluating pesticide emissions from these systems into the environment (Agrow No 557, p 11). Such data will be used in assessments for EU agrochemical approvals. Current methods to estimate emissions relate to open fields, but these are not representative of protected crop systems, the EFSA says. The studies look at potential models and calculation methods specifically designed for protected crops. One study, carried out by the Wageningen greenhouse horticulture institute in the Netherlands, covers aerial emission routes. The second report, by the Dutch national institute for public health and the environment, the RIVM, covers other routes, such as water. The studies are available at: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/EFSA/ efsa_locale-1178620753812_1211902351398.htm.

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11

Europe Germany revokes methiocarb ban

The German federal office for consumer protection and food safety, the BVL, has revoked the suspension of Bayer CropScience's carbamate insecticide, Mesurol (methiocarb) as a seed treatment on maize. The registration of the active ingredient was suspended last May along with the neonicotinoid insecticides, clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, over concerns of harm to bees (Agrow No 545, p 14). Subsequently, the suspension of the products was lifted for use on oilseed rape (Agrow No 547, p 13), although the suspension on maize continued. The BVL says that no detrimental effect on bees has been reported since then, nor have there been any findings raising concerns. The office has, however, imposed certain use restrictions by establishing a quality standard for treating maize seed. The product must be combined adequately with the seed so that abrasion does not exceed 0.75 g dust per 100,000 seeds. Furthermore, the maize may only be sown with special equipment that prevents dust resulting from abrasion of the seed from entering the environment. The BVL has also given a "strictly temporary" 120-day exemption permit for the use of Syngenta's granular pyrethroid insecticide, Force 1.5 G (tefluthrin), to combat western corn rootworms (Diabrotica virgifera).

AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

The product is to be used only in infested areas and may not to be used for control of any other maize pests, it says. So far, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Bavaria are the only infested regions. The granular form of the ai is to be used as a soil treatment during sowing and is to be immediately covered with earth. The ai is not translocated within the plant and bees would not come in contact with it, the BVL says. The suspension of neonicotinoid insecticides continues as "it has not yet been fully clarified to what extent and how bees come into contact" with the ais. The BVL also wants to clarify whether the ais are translocated within the plants, causing harm to bees when they suck nectar.

French food safety agency clears MON810

In a development that could pose difficulties for the French government in its insistence on banning Monsanto's genetically modified insect-resistant MON810 maize, the French food safety agency, the AFSSA, has absolved the product of any accusations of being detrimental to human health. The AFSSA has issued a report saying that maize containing the MON810 event has the same level of safety as conventional maize varieties and their derivatives. France banned MON810 towards the beginning of 2008, invoking the "safeguard" clause under the EU GMO registration Directive (2001/18), which allows member states to ban EU-approved crops on health or environmental grounds (Agrow No 535, p 11). The clause required France to submit new scientific evidence to back its claims to the European Commission and it submitted a report by Professor Maho. The report negated the favourable opinion given earlier by the AFSSA and recommended that the application of the precautionary principle be made. In its latest report, the AFSSA says that the report by Professor Maho presented no new scientific evidence that would call into question the safety of MON810 maize by invalidating previous evaluations of risks to human and animal health. Sub-chronic toxicity studies conducted on rats and alimentary studies on chicken did not show any differences between conventional and MON810 maize, it finds. In November, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) also concluded that France had provided no new scientific evidence that would invalidate the previous risk assessments of MON810 maize or justify the use of the safeguard clause to ban the GM line (Agrow No 556, p 12). But France insisted on its right to maintain the ban (Agrow No 556, p 15). Earlier this month, the EU Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health failed to reach a qualified majority vote for or against European Commission proposals to order France and Greece to lift their bans on the cultivation of MON810 maize (Agrow No 562, p 10).

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AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

Europe

Portuguese winter cereal area falls

The area covered by winter cereals in Portugal is to be 22% down this year, according to estimates from the official national statistics agency, Statistics Portugal. It predicts an area of 145,000 ha against a provisional figure of 185,000 ha for 2008. Soft wheat accounts for most of the fall. Its area is predicted to be almost 30% lower than in 2008 at 62,000 ha. The area jumped last year by more than half, and the 2009 coverage is still above that of 2007. Planting of the crop swings wildly year-by-year, but this year's area is below the average of the previous five years. The hard wheat area is to be down from 3,000 ha to 2,000 ha.

Portuguese winter cereal area (ha)

Cereals Wheat Soft wheat Hard wheat Barley Rye Triticale Total

1

20081 91,000 88,000 3,000 53,000 22,000 19,000 185,000

% change -29.7 -29.5 -33.3 -15.1 -4.5 -21.1 -21.6

20092 64,000 62,000 2,000 45,000 21,000 15,000 145,000

provisional; 2 estimates. Source: Statistics Portugal.

The barley area is expected to fall to 45,000 ha, some 14.5% below the previous five-year average. The planting of rye is predicted to inch lower to 21,000 ha (13.2% below the five-year average), while triticale is to fall by a fifth to 15,000 ha (-12.8%). Low cereal prices and rising production costs influenced farmers' planting intentions, Statistics Portugal says.

BCPC challenges ai ``black list''

The British Crop Production Council (BCPC) has criticised the assertion of MEP Hiltrud Breyer, rapporteur of the European Parliament's Environment Committee, about the existence of a "black list" of 22 active ingredients. Prior to the second reading of the proposed revision of the EU agrochemical registration Directive (91/414) in the European Parliament, Ms Breyer had claimed that the ais in the list would be banned, starting in 2009 (Agrow No 559, p 7). The BCPC rues the fact that the wide publicity received by the "list" could lead to misperceptions among consumers, farmers and agrochemical retailers. They might be reluctant to use products containing the ais resulting in the removal of key products that have been deemed safe by regulators. It has called upon the European Commission to "make it absolutely clear that no such `black list' exists and that all products will be evaluated properly against the provisions of the new legislation". Earlier, the French agrochemical industry association, the UIPP, had also taken exception to the mention of the "black list" (Agrow No 559, p 11).

©Informa UK Ltd 2009

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13

Europe Turkey 2007 agrochemical market up 8%

Turkish agrochemical sales rose by 7.8% to a record t209.8 million ($271.2 million at the current rate) in 2007, according to its agrochemical industry association, the ZIMID. Growth came from a rise in volumes as farmers increased applications, especially on small-grain cereals and maize, ZIMID general secretary Dr Murat Kantarci notes. The association predicted growth of 10% at the end of 2007 (Agrow No 534, p 12). The seed treatment and fungicide segments were among the major drivers, Dr Kantarci notes. "Positive market development was mainly driven by strong demand for seed treatment products and early demand for fungicides and insecticides, due to weather conditions," he told Agrow. Fungicide sales rose by over a fifth, exceeding t50 million for the first time and almost overtaking herbicides as the secondlargest market segment. Mild winter temperatures resulted in a strong infestation of powdery mildew (Blumeria spp) in cereals. The insecticide market rose by over 8% to a new high of t83.5 million. It remained the dominant pesticide segment, while sales of herbicides inched up to a nine-year high.

AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

There was an overall fall in sales of products outside the three major segments. The areas for sugar beet, tobacco and cotton fell, Dr Kantarci adds. The Turkish agrochemical market has been growing for the last few years. Sales reached a previous peak in 1999, at t194.5 million. They fell by 22.6% over the next two years, before reaching a 2004 low of t149.4 million (Agrow ibid).

Turkish agrochemical sales (t million)

Catagory Insecticides Herbicides Fungicides Others2 Total3

1

2006 ($ m) 76.7 (99.1) 56.2 (72.6) 45.0 (58.2) 16.7 (21.6) 194.6 (251.6)

% change +8.9 +3.0 +22.0 -19.2 +7.8

2007 ($ m) 83.5 57.9 54.9 13.5 209.8 (107.9) (74.8) (71.0) (17.5) (271.2)

1 includes acaricides and nematicides; 2 molluscicides, repellants, plant growth regulators, fumigants, rodenticides and adjuvants; 3 figures may not add up due to rounding ­ excludes home and garden pesticides. Source: ZIMID.

major companies...

Bayer CropScience was the largest agrochemical company in Turkey in 2007, according to indicative figures from the ZIMID. It accounted for 22% of the market, and was followed by the largest domestic company, Hektas, which made up 21%. Syngenta was another major player, while other companies each had a less than 10% share. They included Koruma and Dow AgroSciences, which had 7% each, BASF Turk with 6%, Sumitomo (5%), Safa and Dogal (4% each), Cansa (3%), and Monsanto and Agrikem (about 2% each). The company sales figures had been provided to the ZIMID on a "voluntary basis and are unaudited", the association told Agrow.

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AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

Europe Romanian agrochemical market grows 10% in 2008

The Romanian agrochemical market in 2008 grew around 10% to t140-150 million ($181-194 million at the current rate) at the retail level compared with the previous year, estimates the Romanian Society of Plant Protection. The increase is less than earlier estimates of the Society, mainly on account of a dip in the market during the last quarter of the year when sales were lower than those in the corresponding quarter in the previous year. In 2007, the market decreased by 1.2% (Agrow No 554, p 12). For 2009, the Society estimates that the market would remain constant at best. Among reasons for its somewhat pessimistic prediction, it mentions: major difficulties being encountered in accessing bank credit by farmers; excessive delays in the granting of subsidies and national state assistance; and the impossibility of accessing EU funds.

Portuguese 2008 agrochemical sales up 6%

The Portuguese agrochemical market rose by 6% to t99.7 million ($128.9 million at the current rate) in 2008, the Portuguese agrochemical industry association, the ANIPLA, says. Volume sales fell last year. The 2008 market data accounts for nine agrochemical companies, whereas the 2007 ANIPLA market review was made up of sales from 12 companies. The association has revised its figures for the 2007 market down accordingly from over t100 million that was reported last year (Agrow No 539, p 14). Three companies left the association in 2008, but two of them have since returned. The ANIPLA membership rose to 14 earlier this year (Agrow No 560, p 9). Peak sales in Portugal came in 2004 at t116.5 million (Agrow No 469, p 13). The dominant fungicide market rose most strongly. Weather conditions led to an increase in disease levels across several crops, the ANIPLA says. Sales of the pesticide class were up by 15% to over t44 million. Volumes were up by 8%. Herbicides also saw strong growth, despite a significant fall in volume sales. The rise in the price of glyphosate boosted the market. Value sales were up by 11%, while volumes declined by a fifth. Sales of insecticides fell by around a fifth in value and volume terms. Reduced pest pressure and the withdrawal of several insecticide active ingredients, especially of organophosphates, impacted on sales, the ANIPLA notes. Some organophosphate insecticides had an essential use authorisation that expired in December 2007, it adds.

Spanish cereal area to fall

The Spanish cereal area for 2009 is to be 7.4% down on last year, according to early estimates from the Ministry of Agriculture. The area for the four major cereal crops, barley, wheat, oats and rye, is expected to fall to 5.7 million ha, following the 2008 rise above the 6 million ha mark (Agrow No 537, p 14). The Ministry has not yet made a forecast for this season's triticale crop. The barley area is to fall by almost 7% to its 2007 level of approximately 3.2 million ha. The wheat area is expected to be down by 6% at 1.9 million ha, but still slightly above its 2007 coverage. The hard wheat area fell heavily in 2005-07 (Agrow ibid). The major reduction is expected to be for soft wheat. The Ministry estimates the area to drop by 11.7% to under 1.4 million ha. The areas for oats and rye are expected to be 5% down on last year. The fall in the cereal area is surprising, the Ministry comments. The suspension of set-aside "generated expectations [of a higher area]". However, the lower area could be due to adverse weather conditions over the past few months compared with previous seasons, the Ministry says. There is also uncertainty among farmers over prices for the crops, it adds. The estimates were made at the end of December 2008.

Portuguese agrochemical sales (t 000)

Category Fungicides Herbicides Insecticides Others3 Total 4 20071 ($ 000)2 38,400 ($49,638) 32,921 ($28,336) 17,544 ($22,678) 4,233 ($5,472) 94,231 ($121,809) % change +15 +11 -19 +13 +5.8 2008 ($ 000)2 44,160 ($57,084) 36,542 ($47,236) 14,211 ($18,370) 4,783 ($6,183) 99,696 ($128,873)

Portuguese agrochemical sales (tonnes)

Category Fungicides Herbicides Insecticides Others3 Total4

1

20071 13,632 5,134 2,806 1,519 23,028

% change +8 -20 -21 -9 -2.6

20082 14,723 4,107 2,217 1,382 22,429

Spanish cereal area (000 ha)

Crop Barley Wheat Soft wheat Hard wheat Oats Rye Total

1

20081 3,462.4 2,067.0 1,538.3 528.7 498.8 110.0 36,138.1

% change -6.9 -6.0 -11.7 -0.6 -5.1 -5.2 -7.4

20092 3,223.1 1,883.7 1,358.5 525.2 473.5 104.3 5,684.6

calculated from percentage change; 2 at the current rate; 3 includes rodenticides, molluscicides, nematicides and plant growth regulators; 4 figures may not add up due to rounding. Source: ANIPLA.

The sales account for ANIPLA members. Its membership grew earlier this year with the registration of five more companies (Agrow No 560, p 9), bringing the membership to 14 and accounting for 95% of the market. The association predicts 3-5% market growth in nominal terms for 2009.

provisional; 2 forecast; 3 no figures for triticale. Source: Spanish Ministry of Agriculture.

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Americas US registration decisions level off

The US EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) completed 1,677 registration actions under the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) in fiscal 2008. That represented a rise of just 3.5% over the 1,620 decisions in the year to September 30th 2007 (Agrow No 539, p 16). After annual increases of 20% between fiscal 2005 and 2007, the modest rise last year indicates that applications have levelled off, the OPP reports. Only eight more applications were received in fiscal 2008 than in the previous year. The OPP completed 99.9% of decisions on or before the PRIA due dates, including extensions. One action missed the statutory date, due to a change in the fee category to one with a shorter time frame, leaving little time to meet the new date, the OPP points out. The OPP made 1,243 registration decisions for conventional pesticides in fiscal 2008, compared with 1,189 in the previous year. Thirty-four decisions were made for new food-use active ingredients, whereas there were only 17 such decisions in fiscal 2007. Each application can involve several decisions for tolerances and products, the OPP notes. It granted approvals or tolerances to eight new ais in fiscal 2008 (Agrow No 555, p 17). The average time for completing decisions on new food-use ais was 824 days in fiscal 2008, compared with 648 days in fiscal 2007. As noted in previous PRIA annual reports, decision times for new ais were expected to rise because applications submitted before the PRIA took effect benefited from work completed prior to March 2004. The 12 decisions for reduced-risk food-use ais were made in an average of 446 days in fiscal 2008, compared with the 738 days for ten decisions a year earlier. Completion dates were extended by mutual agreement with registrants for 14.9% of conventional pesticide registration decisions. That was more than double the amount (7%) in the previous year. Extensions for biopesticides (48%) and antimicrobials (22%) were similar to those seen in fiscal 2007. There were 1,129 applications in the registration queue at the end of fiscal 2008, compared with 1,207 a year earlier. The number of conventional pesticides awaiting a decision dropped from 959 to 823. There were 38 non-reduced-risk food-use ai decisions pending at the end of fiscal 2008 (48 in fiscal 2007) and six for reduced-risk food use ais (18).

AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

The OPP completed 27 re-registration eligibility decisions (REDs) in fiscal 2008, thereby finalising the review of ais approved before November 1984. Out of 613 re-registration cases, 384 resulted in completed REDs and 229 in voluntary cancellations. Product re-registration is due to be completed by 2014. The OPP has re-registered almost 9,500 products from a total of 22,500. It completed 1,197 product re-registration actions in fiscal 2008, including 680 product re-registrations, 205 amendments and 309 cancellations. It aims to complete 1,250 actions in fiscal 2009. registration reviews... The successor to re-registration, the registration review programme, got under way in 2007 and made "substantial progress" last year, the OPP notes. It opened 64 dockets for public comment and had developed 47 final work plans by the end of fiscal 2008.

California to review bee risks

The US California EPA's Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is to re-evaluate four neonicotinoid insecticides because of concerns over risks to bees. The move has been prompted by residue studies indicating high levels of imidacloprid in treated ornamentals and increases in residue levels over time. The DPR's review will cover imidacloprid and the other nitroguanidine neonicotinoids, clothianidin, dinotefuran and thiamethoxam. The DPR is concerned that residue levels of imidacloprid on the leaves and blossoms of ornamentals can be "more than 20 times" greater than the 185 ppb concentration needed to kill 50% of a test population of honeybees. Studies have also shown that imidacloprid residue levels remain low for the first six months after soil applications, followed by a "dramatic increase that remained stable in some cases for more than 500 days after treatment", the DPR notes. The data indicate that the annual use of imidacloprid may be additive, with residues being available from the previous season. The re-evaluation will cover 282 products from 50 registrants. The DPR is considering the nitroguanidine insecticides as a group because they have soil mobility characteristics and halflives similar to those of imidacloprid. They are considered to be similarly toxic to bees. Registrants will have the option of generating their own data for the review or relying on data from a surrogate nitroguanidine compound, the DPR points out. It intends to require the analysis of residues from the nectar and pollen of a representative number of crops grown in California. It will also demand acute toxicity studies on various bee life stages. The DPR plans to work closely with the federal EPA during the re-evaluation. The EPA opened the registration review docket for imidacloprid in December 2008 (Agrow No 558, p 14) and the docket for the neonicotinoid insecticide, nithiazine, is due to be opened this month. The federal reviews of other neonicotinoids are due to start in fiscal 2012.

fees...

The EPA received $17.1 million in registration fees in fiscal 2008, with $10.3 million carried forward from the previous year. After subtracting $1.3 million for overpayments and withdrawals, the balance amounted to $26.1 million. The agency spent approximately $17.2 million of this during the year and carried over $8.9 million to fiscal 2009.

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AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

Americas Brazil agrochemical industry sounds bullish

The international financial crisis impacted less on the agrochemical business last year than on other agricultural sectors, such as fertilisers, the Brazilian agrochemical industry association, the Andef, says. It gave its opinion following the presentation of a study of the Brazilian 2008 pesticide market at a meeting of industry and government delegates in January. The market rose by 24% in national currency terms and by 29% in US dollars (Agrow No 562, p 13). The sector's robust position was due to the anticipated large crop areas last year, it explains. The Ministry of Agriculture's chamber of agricultural inputs (CTIA) president, Cristiano Walter Simon, was bullish during the encounter. "The general perception in the food industry is good," Mr Simon, who is also an Andef consultant, said. Brazil has a large domestic demand, while demand for fertiliser was 20% higher than average in January, and the Argentine and Australian droughts will impact on food supplies, he noted. A national fertiliser industry delegate at the meeting was also confident. He predicted higher agricultural commodity prices, making inputs, such as pesticides, cheaper on a benefit and cost basis. Mr Simon does not expect any immediate demand in Brazil for Chinese glyphosate exports. He responded to the lowering of duties on imports of the herbicide from China (Agrow No 561, p 13). "We have to use up stocks first," he explained.

Canadian province finalises pesticide ban

The Canadian province of Ontario has finalised regulations to implement its ban on pesticides for cosmetic or non-essential uses. The ban takes effect on April 22nd. The Environment Ministry has retained the 11 classes of pesticides approved for use in Ontario that were proposed in November 2008 (Agrow No 556, p 17). Modifications to those lists mean that 82 active ingredients and 254 products will be banned for cosmetic use. The Ministry lists 99 products with cosmetic and non-cosmetic uses that are subject to restricted sales. It lists 27 low-risk products for use by "licensed exterminators" with public notices. Canadian industry groups have again criticised the ban. They say that the government has failed to develop a scientific foundation for the ban and warn that it will have negative impacts. "These regulations send a negative and inaccurate message to the public about the adequacy of the federal regulatory system," says Paul Wettlaufer, vice-chair of Agricultural Groups Concerned about Resources and the Environment (AGCare). CropLife Canada president Lorne Hepworth warns that the effects of the "irrational decisions" will not be felt immediately. "But one day, Ontarians will realise that the products this government is banning provided safe and effective ways of dealing with pest problems that are detrimental to human health and safety," he says.

Brazil crop area up 1%

The Brazilian 2008/09 crop area is likely to be 1.2% up on last season at 47.9 million ha. Soybean planting had almost been completed by February and was expected to cover 21.5 million ha, slightly below earlier estimates (Agrow No 554, p 19), the Brazilian agricultural supplies Ministry, the Conab, says. The maize area is predicted to be 1.9% lower at 14.5 million ha, similar to Conab's early estimates (Agrow ibid). The cotton area is even lower than previously predicted and 20.5% below that of last season at 857,000 ha. The high price of inputs, particularly of fertiliser, and low international maize prices have impacted on farmers' intentions of planting the crop, the Conab notes. The early maize season is 3% up on last season at 9.4 million ha, while the safrinha (late season) maize should be at normal levels, unlike maize industry concerns at the end of last year (Agrow No 559, p 19). The raised intentions follow the fall in fertiliser prices at the start of the year, the Ministry notes. Cotton prices have fallen to near the government's minimum level. The wheat area has jumped. It is following the early estimates, some 31.1% higher at 2.4 million ha. Bean planting is up by 3.7% at 4.1 million ha, while the early season for the crop rose by 11.3%. The rice area is area is marginally down (0.8%) at 2.9 million ha.

Tel: +91-22 6691 0011 Fax: +91-22-6691 0308 E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.sulphurmills.com

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Americas Brazil recycling case settled

Agrochemical manufacturers and importers are solely responsible for the recycling and disposal of empty pesticide containers in Brazil, a court has found. The first division of the supreme court of justice, the STJ, has rejected an appeal from the company, Santos e Paccini - Fineplast, for the right to act as a commercial recycler of such waste. It argued that the system was unconstitutional and denied free trade. The decision grants the national pesticide container disposal organisation, the InPev as the only licensed recycler of empty pesticide containers. The InPev represents 99% of agrochemical companies in Brazil, including the seven largest.

AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

Brazil 2008 agrochemical imports up 43%

Brazilian pesticide imports jumped by 42.9% to $2,127.7 million in 2008, according to the Ministry of Development. The trade deficit for agrochemicals widened from $1,075.8 million in 2007 to $1,637.7 million last year. Imports rose to a four-year high, the Brazilian generic agrochemical industry association, the AENDA, says. Imports had fallen from 2005 to 2007.

concern...

The continuous growth of imports of formulated products is a concern, the AENDA's executive director, Tulio Oliveira, comments. Formulated product imports rose by more than half and made up 59% of all imports in 2008, compared with 35% in 2005. Imports account for a major part of Brazil's pesticide market. "I estimate imports make up around 55% of the market, including raw materials, intermediates, ais and formulated products," Mr Oliveira told Agrow.

unanimous verdict...

The Ministry of the Environment's national environment council Resolution 334/03 set requirements for the recycling of empty containers six years ago. It included the provision that commercial agrochemical companies were responsible for such recycling. Tribunal Minister, Denise Arruda, explained the reason for the court's unanimous verdict. "If [agrochemical] companies are responsible for the damage to the environment caused by these products, it is just that they establish partnerships to deal with it," she says.

Brazilian agrochemical trade ($ million)

Imports Active ingredients Formulated products Total1 Exports Active ingredients Formulated products Total1

1

2007 663.1 825.8 1,488.9 53.2 359.8 413.1

% change +31.0 +52.4 +42.9 +16.5 +19.0 +18.6

2008 868.9 1,258.8 2,127.7 62.0 428.0 490.0

may not add up due to rounding. Source: Ministry of Development.

The trade figures account for products specified by the Mercosul (Southern Cone trading bloc) common catalogue of goods (NCM) and the Brazilian common catalogue of goods (NBM). The Ministry classifies other pesticide products as "other products", without specifying what proportion of the category is made up of agrochemicals.

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Brazil tomato growers cut agchem use by half

Tomato growers in a Brazilian region have cut their use of pesticides by half in less than four years. Some growers in Santa Catarina have taken part in an IPM project, which was set up in 2005 and gained Ministry of Agriculture backing last year, the newswire, Agrolink, reports. Monitoring of traps is carried out and only when inspections show 20 pests are present are pesticides applied, except in the case of the tomato fruitworm borer (Helicoverpa zea), the main pest. The presence of just one of those requires a pesticide application. The presence of tomato fruitworms could result in loss of 80% of the crop, the Brazilian agricultural research corporation, the Embrapa, says.

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AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

Americas

AMERICAS NEWS IN BRIEF

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Brazil to issue new list of banned agrochemicals

Brazilian authorities are to prohibit the use of certain pesticides from June, the official news agency, Agencia Brasil, reports. The Ministries of Health and the Environment have drawn up a list of candidates for cancellation of registration. The Ministry of Health's national health surveillance agency, the Anvisa, is evaluating the inclusion of 13 active ingredients that are marketed in the country. The re-evaluation process started last year, and was interrupted following an injunction in July (Agrow No 549, p 19). The ais that were to be reassessed were: the fungicide, thiram; the herbicide, paraquat; and the insecticides, carbofuran, endosulfan, methamidophos, parathionmethyl, phorate and phosmet. The Anvisa later abandoned the reevaluation (Agrow No 560, p 17). But the process has re-started after the agency managed to reverse the court ruling, the Agencia adds. Industry obtained the injunction to suspend the reassessment process as it wanted a more transparent system. That would have included the issuing of reassessment criteria and the right of registrants to a defence against decisions to ban products. The Anvisa sought to answer that concern, by issuing new rules at the time of the injunction (Agrow No 549, p 19). Industry requested the injunction following the Anvisa's recommendation to cancel all registrations of the acaricide, cyhexatin (Agrow ibid). Four other ais had passed the process. The Ministries will announce their findings in June this year, the Minister of the Environment, Carlos Minc, says. "We are starting with those products that have already been banned in other countries and for which there are available alternatives," he adds. Minister of Health Jose Gomes Temporao says that the reevaluations are necessary. "The list follows an Anvisa analysis based on EU bans and new scientific data that demand a re-evaluation," he says.

US EPA continues atrazine analysis

The US EPA is to present the latest analysis of the risks from the herbicide, atrazine, to sensitive aquatic species at a four-day meeting of the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel in May. It will include an update on the monitoring of 40 watersheds in maizeand sorghum-growing areas that Syngenta was required to undertake following the EPA's revised interim re-registration eligibility decision for atrazine in 2003 (Agrow No 436, p 14). The EPA will address modelling approaches and the extrapolation of results to the entire atrazine use area.

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Colombian agbiotech lab opens for business

Colombia has launched an agricultural biotechnology-centred laboratory, the Ministry of Agriculture says. The Ministry's national federation of cocoa producers, the Fedecacao, opened it in early February. Results from its research will be applied to the national cocoa-producing community, the Ministry adds. The laboratory will initially focus on plant health, using any methodology involving isolating and identifying micro-organisms that cause disease. It will carry out studies on Monilia pod rot (Moniliophthora roreri) and other pathogens under controlled conditions.

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Brazilian organic crop farmers seek EU markets

A delegation of organic crop farmers from Brazil was in Germany for the Biofach fair, seeking more markets for Brazilian organic produce. Such produce is growing by 20-30% a year, the national society of agriculture, the SNA, says. It is supporting the delegation through the project, OrganicsNet. There are no official figures on the size of the Brazilian organic sector, the official news agency, Agencia Brasil, says. The SNA estimates that 19,000 farmers are in the sector. The use of an official stamp recognising organic crop production in Brazil is under public consultation until March 17th, the Ministry of Agriculture says. The use of an official stamp is expected to be in place in the first half of 2010, and famers would have to register as organic crop producers by December 29th 2009.

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Asia/Australia China restricts glyphosate approvals

China's Ministry of Agriculture has ceased granting registrations to glyphosate herbicide soluble concentrate formulations with active ingredient content lower than 30%. Companies with glyphosate formulations that have already been approved commercially or for field tests must increase their ai content to 30% or higher before December 31st 2009. Suppliers in China have already begun promoting highconcentration glyphosate products to end users. From 2010, 10% glyphosate formulations, which make up "nearly 90% of the Chinese glyphosate market", will be replaced by higher concentration formulations, reports the regional newspaper, Nanfang Daily. The developments are welcomed by large-scale glyphosate manufacturers, such as Anhui Huaxing Chemical. "These regulations will increase the production cost of many small producers and decrease the number of glyphosate producers," the company told Agrow. Agrochemical company Sichuan Huaying Chemical recently began construction on a 10,000 tonnes/year glyphosate plant, to be finished in October this year (see this issue, p 4).

AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

China calls for biopesticide research

The Chinese Academy of Sciences has highlighted the importance of biopesticide research in its 2009 "High Technology Development Report", published early this month. Pesticide discovery is "increasingly reliant" on biotechnology, and in China the term "biopesticide" has practically become a substitute for newly-developed pesticides in the post-genomic era. New pesticides are forced to conform to the "green" ideals of being "highly-effective, low toxicity, low dosage, low trace and easily degradable", the report states. Wu Yijun, a researcher at the Academy's institute of zoology, believes that the "depth and breadth" of research into new pesticides in China is still not sufficient. In the report, Mr Wu suggests that pesticide research and development should focus on the mechanism of action of new pesticides, and the resistance of target pests to biopesticides, especially plant pesticides. Mr Wu also stresses the importance of biotechnology. He highlights the need to develop genetically modified viral insecticides, with a focus on protein science and functional genomics, as well as research into modified degradation strains and related genes for pesticides that are difficult to break down, such as the insecticide, DDT.

ASIA/AUSTRALIA NEWS IN BRIEF

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South Korea OKs GM soybean imports

ASIA/AUSTRALIA NEWS IN BRIEF

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South Korea has granted import approvals to two genetically modified herbicide-tolerant soybean lines, Monsanto's Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans (MON 89788) and Bayer CropScience's LibertyLink soybeans (A2704-12). The approvals "pave the way" for commercialisation in the US, reports the American Soybean Association (ASA). "These approvals are critical to US soybean growers and our soybean and soybean product customers in South Korea," says ASA president Johnny Dodson. The ASA has ìworked closelyî with the South Korean industry for approval of the soybean traits. LibertyLink and Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans are approved for cultivation in the US and have received import approvals in the EU and other key export markets (Agrow passim). MEETING EU Chemicals Regulation 2009: Essential Post Pre-registration Advice for American Exporters to Europe will be held on April 1st2nd 2009 at the Courtyard Washington Embassy Row, Washington, DC, US. A pre-conference workshop, A Practical Guide to Preparing for REACH Registration, will be held on March 31st; an evening seminar, REACH Chemical Safety Assessments ­ Comparison of the EU and the US EPA Chemical Safety Assessment Process, will take place on April 1st; and a post-conference workshop, Practical Advice on Developing Ways to Support your European Duty Holders, will be held on April 3rd. For more information, contact: The Bookings Department, Informa UK Ltd, PO Box 406, Byfleet KT14 6WL, UK. Tel: +44 20 7017 7481.

China calls for tighter formulation controls

The Chinese Institute for the Control of Agrochemicals (ICAMA) has called for tighter controls on the regulation of pesticide formulations. Discussions held at a work seminar on the evaluation of formulations highlighted the problems that exist in the country's systems for pesticide formulation registration and administration, the ICAMA reports. It was "universally" agreed that greater emphasis should be placed on evaluating the "rationality" of the pesticide formulation during the registration process. Seminar delegates also concurred that the effects of additives and processing techniques on pesticide formulations should undergo stricter regulation. China has 118 registered pesticide formulations.

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Dow/China collaborate on rice research

Dow AgroSciences and the China National Rice Research Institute (CNRRI ­ Hangzhou) have entered into a "multi-year" research agreement to combine Dow AgroSciences' platform of traits and technologies with CNRRI's rice germplasm. Although Dow could not provide further details due to reasons of confidentiality, it defined "traits" as "all input, output and agronomic traits". The research aims to introduce novel rice technologies capable of "improving the productivity" of the crop, says Daniel Kittle, vice-president of R&D at Dow AgroSciences.

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AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

Asia/Australia India clarifies new GMO approval system

India's Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) has clarified that the new "event-based approval system" for genetically modified insect-resistant cotton is applicable to four events instead of the five that it had earlier intimated (Agrow No 558, p 20). The cry1Ac gene (Dharwad event) introduced by the Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR - Nagpur) would be applicable for event-based approval only after it completes three seasons of commercial cultivation. The four Bt cotton events that come under the new system are: cry1Ac (MON 531 event); cry1Ac and cry2Ab genes (MON 15985 event); cry1Ab and cry1Ac "GFM"; and cry1Ac (event 1). The new approval system was adopted last December to replace the case-by-case approval system for Bt cotton hybrids (Agrow ibid). A GEAC standing committee will evaluate the applications for commercial release of Bt cotton hybrids expressing approved events. It will select 10% of the applications received and send samples to the referral laboratory at the CICR for verification of the claims submitted. Once an application has passed the scrutiny of the standing committee, the release of Bt cotton hybrids in the respective state would follow the same process as that for conventional lines.

ASIA/AUSTRALIA ROUND-UP

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China guarantees pesticides for drought-hit areas

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has laid out a drought relief action plan that will guarantee the supply of agrochemicals to affected areas, Chinese media report. Mr Wen chaired a drought relief work seminar for farmers and grass-roots cadres in Yuzhou city, Henan province. The premier detailed an action plan that would guarantee funding and supplies for relief work, and ensure the provision of agricultural production supplies, such as pesticides. Some media analysts are predicting worse than usual pest infestations in drought-hit areas this year. The drought has affected major wheat-growing provinces in northern China since early January.

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China backs Fengshan's glyphosate project

A project undertaken by Chinese agrochemical manufacturer Jiangsu Fengshan Group (Dafeng) to produce 5,000 tonnes/year of the herbicide, glyphosate, has been included in the 2008-09 China Spark Program, reports the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology. The Spark Program is a government initiative to stimulate the rural economy by investing in science and technology projects, usually those undertaken by rural small and medium enterprises. In a bid to increase profitability in the sector, China's Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation increased the export rebate for glyphosate from 5% to 9% at the end of last year (Agrow No 557, p 21).

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India approves two GM field trials

The Indian Genetic Approval Committee (GEAC) has approved two field trials of genetically modified insect-resistant crops. Approvals have been given to: the National Research Centre for Sorghum (NRCS ­ Hyderabad) for confined field trials on two sorghum lines containing the Bt Cry1B gene (NRCSCRY 1B event 4 and NRCSCRY 1B event 19), between January and May this year; and for event selection trials on 41 Bt rice lines expressing the Cry1Ab, Cry1Ca and glufosinate tolerance genes at the company's R&D centre in Hyderabad between December 2008 and April 2009. Last year, the GEAC approved field trials by Bayer on 28 Bt rice lines during the autumn season (Agrow No 555, p 22).

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Global organic crop area up 5%

The global area of organic crops rose by 4.9% to 32.2 million ha in 2007, according to the latest survey by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). The greatest growth was seen in Latin America and Africa. Australia accounts for the largest organic crop area, at 12 million ha, followed by Argentina (2.8 million ha) and Brazil (1.8 million ha). The tenth global survey of organic crops was conducted by the IFOAM in collaboration with the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture and the German Foundation for Ecology and Farming.

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Asia/Australia/Africa India defers commercial approval of GM aubergine

The Indian Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) is yet to agree on approving commercial cultivation of genetically modified insect-resistant Bt aubergines (brinjal) developed by licensee Mahyco. The company has been conducting large-scale field trials in the country after receiving GEAC approval in August 2007 (Agrow No 526, p 19). The GEAC has set up a sub-committee to: review the adequacy of the biosafety data submitted; review the adequacy of the toxicity and allergenicity protocols; and to suggest further studies, if any, based on the review of international practices in biosafety assessment and representations received by the GEAC. The decision has been taken in view of an Austrian study, amongst others, that found Bt aubergines to have an adverse effect on human health. The GEAC feels that the biosafety data need to be examined in light of that study. The Bt aubergines would be the first GM food crop to be commercialised in the country. They are resistant to fruit and shoot borers (Leucinodes orbonalis), which account for up to 40% of aubergine crop losses each year in India, Bangladesh, the Philippines and other southern Asian countries (Agrow No 529, p 21). Commercial approval is expected in 2009. ASIA/AUSTRALIA/AFRICA NEWS IN BRIEF

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AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

Australian summer crops inch up

Summer crop plantings in Australia have been revised upwards due to an improved forecast for cotton and rice crops. Estimates for other major summer crops have been reduced from December 2008 forecasts (Agrow No 558, p 17), but the overall area is set to rise by 1.6% from 2007/08 to some 1.1 million ha. An improvement in water storage levels has resulted in better prospects for rice and cotton, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics (ABARE). However, the forecast areas for both crops remain well below their five-year averages. Cotton plantings are expected to reach 164,000 ha, some 10,000 ha more than previously forecast. The five-year average is 245,000 ha. The rice area has been adjusted from 8,000 ha to 9,000 ha, compared with a five-year average of 57,000 ha.

Australian summer crop areas (000 ha)1

Crop Sorghum Cotton Maize Sunflowers Rice Others Total

1

2007/08 845 63 68 48 2 82 1,108

% change -15.1 >100 +2.9 -14.6 >100 +52.4 +1.6

2008/092 717 164 70 41 9 125 1,126

as of February 11th 2009; 2 forecast. Source: ABARE

Uganda to test Monsanto GM cotton lines

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ASIA/AUSTRALIA NEWS IN BRIEF

Uganda is to test two of Monsanto's genetically modified cotton lines "soon", the International Service for the Acquisition of Agribiotech Applications' newswire, CropBiotech, reports. The trials are for bollworm-resistant Bollgard and glyphosate-tolerant Roundup Ready Flex. Monsanto has agreed a deal with the public body, the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) to test the products in Uganda. The trials will evaluate performance, as well as environmental, social and economic effects, CropBiotech adds. The NARO received an import licence for the GMOs last month.

Australian regulator settles Imtrade case

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has reached an out-of-court settlement with the agrochemical company, Imtrade Australia, over the validity of product registrations. Last year, the APVMA ordered a recall of 52 products supplied by Imtrade but the ruling was reversed by the Federal Court (Agrow No 552, p 17). The parties have agreed to work together to "ensure that the legislative and regulatory frameworks are fully complied with", the APVMA says.

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AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

Products

BASF prepares for US Kixor launch Monsanto's GM cotton gets BASF is preparing to launch its new multi-crop herbicide, Kixor Argentine OK

(saflufenacil), in the US later this year. It hopes to receive US approval in the third quarter of 2009. The company is initially targeting registrations in the US, Canada and Australia, with further approvals expected in South America, Asia and Europe (Agrow No 537, p 21). BASF has invested $50 million over the past two years in its US manufacturing plant in Hannibal, Missouri, which will supply the herbicide worldwide. Saflufenacil is a protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) inhibitor, which acts by blocking chlorophyll biosynthesis. It possesses "high levels of weed control and crop selectivity not found in existing PPOs", says BASF's global herbicide marketing manager, Dr Rex Liebl. "We identified novel ways for a PPO to attack weeds and then set out to create a truly unique herbicide." Kixor provides rapid burndown and residual control of more than 90 broadleaf weeds, including those resistant to atrazine, glyphosate and acetolactate synthase inhibitors, BASF points out. It is effective against small-seeded broadleaf weeds like pigweeds (Amaranthus spp) and lambsquarters (Chenopodium album) and "difficult to control" large-seeded weeds such as sunflowers (Helianthus annuus), velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti) and morning-glory (Ipomoea spp), Dr Liebl says. The high level of crop selectivity means that Kixor will be the first PPO inhibitor registered for pre-emergence use on maize, Dr Liebl notes. It will have more crops associated with its first registration than "any other herbicide has had in the past", says BASF technical marketing manager Dr Dan Westberg. The herbicide has been shown to be safe on more than 30 crops, including maize, sorghum, soybeans, chickpeas, small-grain cereals, cotton, tree fruit and nuts. BASF is also seeking approvals for use on fallow land and as a desiccant for sunflowers. BASF plans to develop four formulations of saflufenacil to meet a range of weed control needs. All will be recommended for preemergence application, except for a directed spray in tree crops and a sunflower desiccant. In US maize trials, a saflufenacil-based combination outperformed an atrazine-based premix and provided a "superior set-up" for post-emergence applications of glyphosate, Dr Westberg points out. In soybeans, a saflufenacil/glyphosate tank mix provided "faster and more complete burndown" than 2,4-D ester plus glyphosate. Argentina has approved Monsanto's genetically modified stackedtrait insect-resistant Bollgard and glyphosate-tolerant Roundup Ready cotton (MON531xMON1445) for marketing and production. It was granted the go ahead earlier this month. The SAGPyA approval is the first for a Monsanto stacked GM cotton event. The two GM cotton events, MON531 and MON1445, had already been approved as single-trait products in Argentina (Agrow No 376, p 18). Monsanto has welcomed the approval of the "new technology" as allowing "a greater flexibility of use". It will lead to a "drastic reduction" in herbicide and insecticide use, Monsanto says. It predicts farmers will apply a third fewer applications. The new product's approval passed through three bodies under rules confirmed in 2008. The Argentine agricultural biotechnology assessor commission, the CONABIA, found "no significant difference" between conventional cotton varieties and the proposed stacked-trait GM line. The Argentine national animal and plant health inspection service, the Senasa, found no scientific objection for a threat to human or animal health. The Ministry of Agriculture, the SAGPyA, has since issued Resolution 82/2009, approving the product. Argentina maintained its position as the second-largest planter of GM crops globally last year with a 10% rise in its GM crop area (Agrow No 562, p 12).

PRODUCT NEWS IN BRIEF

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Bayer launches Infinito in Brazil

Bayer CropScience launched the fungicide, Infinito (fluopicolide 62.5 g/litre + propamocarb hydrochloride 625 g/litre), in Brazil last month. It is a suspension concentrate formulation recommended as a foliar application on tomatoes and potatoes against late blight (Phytophthora infestans). The Brazilian authorities approved fluopicolide's dossier as complete last year (Agrow No 550, p 19). The active ingredient gained its first approvals in the UK and China in 2005 (Agrow No 485, p 21), and was granted its first South American registration in 2007 in Colombia (Agrow No 522, p 18).

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Bayer gets Brazil OK for Consento

PRODUCT NEWS IN BRIEF

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Surfaplus relaunches patent database

Dutch company Surfaplus (Wageningen) has relaunched its patent database for pesticide formulations and adjuvants on a subscription basis. The database comprises more than 5,000 patent references.

Brazil has granted registration for Bayer CropScience's systemic fungicide, Consento (propamocarb hydrochloride 375 g/litre + fenamidone 75 g/litre). It is a suspension concentrate formulation for use on tomatoes and potatoes against late blight (Phytophthora infestans). The registration follows that of Infinito for use against the same disease (see this page). Fungicide portfolio manager at Bayer Jorge Barrionuevo says that the two products give farmers full control. "Infinito is recommended for plants' vegetative stages against blight, while Consento acts on already established plants against early (Alternaria solani) and late blight," he says. Bayer has requested an extension for the product's use against early blight.

©Informa UK Ltd 2009

www.agrow.com

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Products/People

PRODUCT NEWS IN BRIEF

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AGROW | No 563 | March 13th 2009

PEOPLE

I The European regulatory consultancy company, TSGE

Syngenta sugar beet fungicide OK'd in UK

Syngenta has received US approval for the combination fungicide, Inspire XT (difenoconazole 250 g/litre + propiconazole 250 g/litre), for use on sugar beet. It provides preventive and curative control of Cercospora leaf spot (Cercospora beticola) and powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis), Syngenta says. The product will replace the single active ingredient product, Inspire SB (difenoconazole 250 g/litre), which was introduced last year.

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(Technology Sciences Group Europe - Knaresborough, North Yorkshire), has appointed David Osborn as a senior consultant. Mr Osborn was previously working with Chemtura's European division as a senior regulatory specialist.

I Chinese agrochemical company Rotam's European division, Rotam Europe (Lincolnshire), has appointed Trevor Smith as sales and marketing manager for northern Europe. Mr Smith will focus primarily on the UK and Irish markets. He has over 20 years' experience in the agrochemical industry in sales and marketing roles. I The Australian government has appointed Dr Joe Smith as the

Italy approves Bayer's prothioconazole

Bayer has been granted approval for its systemic fungicide, prothioconazole in Italy. The company is to market two products based on the active ingredient. One is a single ai fungicide, Proline (prothioconazole 250 g/litre), and the other a combination product, Prosaro (prothioconazole 125 g/litre + tebuconazole 125 g/litre). They are emulsifiable concentrate formulations for use on wheat and barley against diseases, such as rust (Puccinia spp), powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis) and Fusarium spp. Prothioconazole received its first registration in Germany in 2004 as Proline (Agrow No 453, p 21). Bayer then noted the development of resistance to strobilurin fungicides in leaf diseases was leaving growers with few alternative modes of action (Agrow No 502, p 18).

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Gene Technology Regulator from March 23rd. Dr Smith will be responsible for regulating genetically modified crops. He succeeds Elizabeth Flynn, who has been acting Regulator since the departure of Dr Sue Meek. Dr Smith was chief executive officer of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority from 2003 to 2007.

Visit Agrow's website at www.agrow.com

South Americans warm to BASF's Brazil GMO

A BASF and Brazilian-developed genetically modified soybean is gaining significant interest from several South American countries, BASF says. Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay are among those that have registered interest in the herbicide-tolerant soybean. The Brazilian agricultural research corporation, the Embrapa, has inserted imidazolinone herbicide tolerance genes identified by BASF into soybeans. It submitted an application for commercial release of the product to the Brazilian authorities last year (Agrow No 559, p 19). The companies expect to launch it in Brazil in 2011. The soybean would be the first GM product developed with BASF and Embrapa-owned technology to be available on the Brazilian market, BASF says. It could be used against a broad spectrum of weeds, including those difficult to control today, and would lead to fewer herbicide applications, it adds.

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US OKs DuPont's safer maize herbicides

DuPont has received US approval for two safened versions of established sulfonylurea maize herbicides. Accent Q (nicosulfuron 54.5%) and Steadfast Q (nicosulfuron 25.2% + rimsulfuron 12.5%) contain Bayer CropScience's safener, isoxadifen-ethyl, to enable use under a wider range of conditions and on more maize hybrids. "Accent Q and Steadfast Q herbicides offer consistent weed control with crop safety," says DuPont's maize portfolio manager, Jeff Carpenter. Bayer agreed to supply DuPont with isoxadifen-ethyl for use in US maize herbicides in 2006 (Agrow No 504, p 1).

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©Informa UK Ltd 2009

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