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DOW AgroSciences Seeds & Traits Sales 2017

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Seeds & Traits Regional Sales

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Europe, Middle East, Africa & India

EMEAI sales in Q2 grew 25% on a very small base, and 0.7% for the H1 2017 period. Sales were mainly for oilseeds, particularly sunflower seeds where there is also competition from bigger players like Syngenta, Pioneer and the European players.

The outlook for H2 2017 remains flat for this region as their cereal seeds offering is still quite small and DAS currently have no vegetables and flower seeds to offer in this diversified market. Longer term they would certainly improve for corn and oilseeds with the merger between Dow and DuPont later this year.

North America

North American sales for the quarter grew strongly by 11.6%, while H1 2017 sales grew by 3.1%. The biggest contributors were higher cotton seed sales as planted area had grown by 20% for upland cotton where Dow-Phytogen™/Pfister™ have some good germplasm on offer. These sales were further boosted by the Enlist™/ EnlistDuo™ traits for 2,4-D and glyphosate tolerance which have proven well in field conditions after last year’s launch.

Corn seed sales of their PowerCore™ insect-resistant traits have also improved well in Brazil and USA. Dow has lost some revenue from Herculex traits as Pioneer and some smaller breeders have switched to Syngenta’s MIR 162/MIR 604 traits. A large part of H1 revenues are from advance orders and trait licence fees.

The outlook for H2 2017 is mildly positive, partly arising from canola seed sales, replanting corn in flooded areas and fall planting of pasture seeds. There is a strong upsides possibility from advance orders booked towards the end of Q4 2017 for corn and cotton seeds for the 2018 season

Latin America

Seed sales in Latin America grew by 11.6% in Q2 and by 3.9% during H1 2017. Strong demand for their Mycogen corn/maize hybrids with PowerCore™ traits in the safrinha season and stronger Real exchange rates helped improve performance in the region. Improved distribution in the region has also helped in Argentina and Brazil. One positive factor is that Dow’s acquisition of the seed business of Coodetec, has given it a much stronger position in the Latin American seeds sector for soybeans, maize and cereals along with new germplasm resources.

Dow should continue to show a better performance here in H2 2017 with the main season commencing October-November in the 4th quarter. Area under corn, cotton and soybeans are all expected to be higher this year, the extent, of course, depending on the current North American crop’s harvests.

Total Seeds and Traits Regions

Seed and trait sales for the quarter grew strongly by 11.8% while they grew by 3.1% during the H1 2017 period. Changes in Q2 were largely due to volume 8%, price 3% and currency 0.8%, while for H1 changes were effected by volume 3%, price (1%) and currency 1%. Results were mixed with growth seen only in the safrinha season for corn in Brazil, main season sales in North American upland cotton and corn and smaller sales in Europe.

Until last year, Dow AgroSciences sales are heavily weighted through trait royalty/licensing revenues for the Herculex™ insect-resistant traits from two of the biggest seed companies, and these have shrunk due to changing attitudes of partners in the seed business. However, their launch of the Enlist™ herbicide-tolerance range has boosted trait revenues sufficiently and is expected to perform better over the next few years as they expand their offerings in Canada and Latin America. Their acquisition of seed companies in Latin America and Europe has helped smooth these bumpy rides.

The outlook for H2 2017 remains positive as Dow’s seed sales for corn, cotton, soybean seeds with Enlist™ and PowerCore™ traits and sunflower seeds in Latin America are expected to perform well. One downside is that Dow may be forced to divest part of their corn seeds business in Latin America, by the year-end, which could be more than offset by the range offered by DuPont-Pioneer™ in Latin America post-merger.

Seeds & Traits Product Sales

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Corn

Corn seeds sales grew 8% in Q2 and 2.1% during the H1 2017 period. This was despite US farmers switch to soybeans earlier this year. Higher sales for PowerCore™ trait seeds for the Latin American safrinha season drove performance in this segment supplemented by sales in North America.

While Dow-Mycogen continue to receive licensing revenues from Monsanto and other breeders for their Herculex™ traits for the medium-term (Monsanto and ASI use them in SmartStax™) problems could arise from insect resistance which has been reported since 2014 in Latin America and could, in all likelihood, spread to North America well into 2017.

As Cropnosis expressed last quarter, the Q2 2017 planting season was expected to show higher sales with its Enlist™/EnlistDuo™ system based on tolerance to 2,4-D choline. Dow has succeeded in doing quite well despite competition from Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta.

Outlook for H2 2017 remains positive as the Latin American season commences in Q4. Dow may relinquish some of their Latin American business as they will be getting a substantially bigger share of the pie with Pioneer from DuPont.

Oilseeds

Oilseeds sales grew substantially by 50% in Q2 and by 5% during H1 2017, mainly through spring planting of OSR/canola in Canada, USA, sunflower seeds in EMEAI and soybeans in the US.

This year Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta weighed in heavily with Monsanto’s dicamba-tolerant technology impacting Dow’s performance in soybeans. But there have been a large number of complaints about crop injury from dicamba drift and the product suspended in four states. This could change farmers perspective and influence them towards Dow’s technology. In any case, Dow is expected to perform better next year when they receive full approval for their EnlistDuo™/Enlist3™ system for soybean and the other crops with tolerance to 2,4-D choline, glyphosate and glufosinate.

H2 2017 outlook is generally positive with the major season coming up in Latin America and Dow’s ability to push their Conquesta™ / Conkesta™ insect-resistant soybeans against Monsanto’s IntactaRR™ and sunflower seeds in Argentina.

Cotton

Cotton seeds performed exceedingly well in Q2 with 223% growth, after a slow start in Q1, and 19.6% growth in H1 2017. Two main reasons were that higher cotton prices motivated farmers to plant 20% more upland cotton in USA this year and that Dow has a good range of cotton seed (Phytogen™/Pfister™/Powergen™) with its own Herculex™ trait-bearing cotton seeds with the Widestrike™ vegetative insecticidal trait.

The third major reason is that they now offer their proprietary Enlist™ system linking their herbicides to the herbicide-tolerant traits this has been a resounding success despite strong competition from Monsanto-DPL™. Dow’s seeds managed to perform better than Bayer-Stoneville Pedigree™ during this period. DAS received full approval to sell its EnlistDuo™/E3™ system cotton with traits stacked for double/triple herbicide tolerance as well as their Herculex™/Widestrike™ proprietary insect-resistant traits.

H2 2017 is expected to remain positive with sales in Latin America and possibly in Africa.

Other/Pasture Seeds

Others/Pasture Seed sales declined 15.7% for the H1 2017 period. as resowing cycles await better weather conditions. Dow may need to add seed enhancements (biologicals) to its range to penetrate this sector.

The rotation practice prevailing in pasture and rangeland in many parts of North and South America is roughly 3-4 years. This has impacted sales in key regions also due to competition from local seed producers as well as imports from New Zealand and other areas.

The forage seed industry goes through 3-year cycles as pastures mature and get replanted. Current trends indicate that seed companies provide a package with the addition of improved strains of inoculants which boost or flush the fodder components to provide a better nutrition value to cattle. Monsanto and DuPont (who sold their main alfalfa business to S&W Seeds last year) are both active in this area, but DAS needs to catch up. Which could happen with the merged DowDuPont company.

This year is a real test for the two new herbicide-tolerant traits as well as the more serious issue of formulating mixtures with very low volatility as actives in both offerings could potentially damage adjacent crops through drift. Feedback should be available before the end of Q2, through Q3 2017 as to which company will experience better results. In Cropnosis opinion, both are risky as they contain glyphosate and could spread resistance issues further.