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Commodity price spike has Syngenta Crop Protection hopeful for 2011

This
fall’s commodity price spike bodes well for crop input companies in 2011.

Vern
Hawkins, Syngenta Crop Protection president, notes the firm’s recent third
quarter sale volume for this year are up 18%. “There was strong growth across
all product lines,” Hawkins told agricultural media at October’s Syngenta Media
Summit in San Antonio, Texas.

Commodity
price spikes don’t always transfer into a banner follow-up year. In 2008, a
similar euphoric price uplift occurred.

“In
2009, I think many of us hoped it would be a lot like 2008,” he says. “It
wasn’t. We had a down year in 2009. Lots of us hoped it was the low. It wasn’t.
It was 2010.”

The
reason? Competitive pressures drove down market prices of two key inputs,
fungicides and glyphosate.

Still,
Syngenta officials are optimistic the recent third-quarter news combined with
current strong commodity prices bodes well for 2011.

A
bright side of the competitive pressures that pushed down prices of some inputs
like fungicides is it enticed farmers to try such products.

“Fungicide
use grew a lot this year,” he says. “

Positive
farmer experience with using them, coupled with stronger commodity prices, may
herald increased use and stronger sales of such inputs in 2011. 

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