Capacity expansion comes amid strong demand for agricultural products
F 500®, boscalid, fipronil and metazachlor among innovative compounds to receive boost in production
BASF Crop Protection plans to invest more than $225 million in additional capacity to meet the growing demand for key crop protection products in the coming years. The two-year expansion project will increase capacity at production facilities in Germany, France, Brazil and the United States for top-selling active ingredients such as F 500®, boscalid, fipronil and metazachlor. This sum is on top of the base investment of around $135 million for 2008, which includes production capacity expenditures for BASF's new blockbuster herbicide KixorTM.
"Farmers are seeking to capitalize on the high prices for agricultural commodities," said Michael Heinz, President of BASF's Crop Protection division. "That means getting the most out of every acre of farm land with innovative crop protection products."
The majority of this new capacity will become available in 2010 at the latest. The products with these active ingredients have demonstrated outstanding performance in the field. Included are two pipeline compounds: F 500® and boscalid. The fungicide F 500® is BASF's star plant health fungicide, bringing growers additional yield benefits of around 10% in crops such as corn and soybeans in addition to the excellent disease control in over 100 different crops. The fungicide boscalid, originally developed for the fast-growing fruit and vegetables segment, is now being successfully launched in cereals and oil seed rape. The combined peak sales potential of these two pipeline active ingredients is more than $1.08 billion. The insecticide fipronil and the herbicide metazachlor are two mainstays in BASF's crop protection portfolio and will continue to be featured in the company's next-generation products.
"The investment in additional production capacity is a sign of BASF's commitment to the North American market," said Markus Heldt, head of BASF Crop Protection in the region. "The active ingredients are going into products such as Headline® and Pristine®, which help growers minimize risk and maximize yield and quality," he added.
BASF sees a bright future for its portfolio of innovative crop protection products amid rising demand for crop commodities. Customers and society want products that maximize yields on limited arable land and that are safe for consumers and the environment. BASF scientists have a strong track record of delivering just that. This is becoming all the more important in light of the growing world population, climate change, increased meat consumption in emerging markets and the use of crops for renewable raw materials.
About the Crop Protection division
With sales of €3,137 million in 2007, BASF's Crop Protection division is a leader in crop protection and a strong partner to the farming industry providing well-established and innovative fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. Farmers use these products and services to improve crop yields and crop quality. Other uses include public health, structural/urban pest control, turf and ornamental plants, vegetation management, and forestry. BASF aims to turn knowledge rapidly into market success. The vision of BASF's Crop Protection division is to be the world's leading innovator, optimizing agricultural production, improving nutrition, and thus enhancing the quality of life for a growing world population. Further information can be found on the web at www.agro.basf.com.
BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from oil and gas to chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals. As a reliable partner BASF helps its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF has more than 95,000 employees and posted sales of almost €58 billion in 2007. Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.