Pesticide Action Network Updates Service (PANUPS)
May 7, 1999
Nearly all the major agrochemical companies increased sales in 1998, according to Agrow: World Crop Protection News. DuPont's combined agrochemical and biotechnology sales increased by over 25%, the highest rate of increase for the top ten corporations. DuPont recently announced that it had agreed to acquire the outstanding 80% stake in Pioneer HiBred International that it did not already own. Pioneer, the world's largest seed company with sales of US$1,835 million in 1998, controls about 42% of the U.S. maize seed market.
Monsanto's growth rate was a close second with combined agrochemical and seed sales increasing by more than 23% in 1998. This was due to a 25% increase in volume sales of the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) and a tripling of the area planted with Monsanto's genetically modified crops.
Novartis was the overall sales leader in 1998 with pesticide sales reaching US$4,152 million and seed sales at US$1,005 million. Novartis, as well as Cyanamid, DuPont, Rhone-Poulenc and Zeneca were all hit by lower than expected herbicide sales in the U.S. due to low commodity prices and weather conditions as well as other factors.
Agrochemical and seed sales in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America were generally lower due in part to economic problems in these regions. However, Cyanamid, Dow AgroSciences, Novartis, Rhone-Poulenc and Zeneca all reported increased sales in Latin America. Cyanamid, Dow and Novartis also had high sales in Asia.
Top ten agrochemical companies -- 1998 sales
Sources: Agrow: World Crop Protection News, March 26, 1999 and April 16, 1999.