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Functional Products

Seed and soil treatment sales (a part of Functional Products) contributed 3.1% of global sales, declining sharply (31%) in Q3 and (6.8%) during the first 9 months of 2017. Some support was provided in the US with farmers using more seed care products to protect both lower-priced conventional hybrids, to avoid high planting costs, as well as high-priced genetically engineered ones. The continuing ban on fipronil ST in Europe and North America has impacted BASF’s performance in this sector.

Sales, of insecticidal seed treatments overall, are expected to be below those of last year. They would, however, be more than offset by higher sales of fungicidal treatments for cereal and oilseed rape seeds in North America and Europe based on the current status of harvest conditions in these two regions.

Other Functional Products like biologicals, colourants, spray markers, which contributed 1.3% of global sales, showed a stronger growth of 2.7% in Q3 and 4.4% during the first 9 months of 2017, as planting of cotton and soybeans, as well as replanting of corn and soybeans due to heavy rains in USA. The outlook for Q4 2017 is positive as these products, especially the biologicals are expected to grow strongly for the current planting in Latin America and the autumn / fall planting season in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Professional Products

Professional & Speciality Products sales, which contributed 4.3% of global sales, were down (17.7%) in Q3 and declined (9.4%) for the 9-month period 2017. These products are targeted at the industrial and aquatic weed control markets as well as for pest control in public health, industrial and storage uses. Public health products are aimed at the tender businesses in WHO/FAO approved products and authorised areas for vector control, locust control where they face competition from Bayer, Sumitomo Chemical and Syngenta. There are also a large number of cheaper options, from competitors, available in the retail sector.

Generic competition from insecticides and unbranded non-selective herbicides from Israel, China and India has eroded the branded higher-priced product share of the market. The other aspect is that companies like Bayer, Dow, DuPont and Syngenta have introduced newer products recently which are performing better. Although BASF does have a share of this market with their treated nets and residual sprays for buildings and rivers, the newer products have weakened BASF’s competitiveness in the non-crop markets sector.

The outlook for 2017 remains negative as we do not see any BASF products that could gain share.

Inter-segmental Transfers

Inter-segmental transfers are mainly internal sales for products like herbicides, fungicides and insecticides used in Clearfield™ plant science and Functional Solutions particularly for Public Health and Professional Products.