High glyphosate prices: Bayer feels the Monsanto boost

Dhe pharmaceutical and agrochemical group Bayer is benefiting from high prices for its weed killer glyphosate. Also because there have been delivery bottlenecks from manufacturers in China, for example, the Dax group expects an average price for the herbicide this year that will be two and a half times higher than it was at the beginning of 2021. Although prices fell in the third quarter compared to the first half of the year, sales of herbicides still increased by 45 percent compared to the same quarter last year. “We are now seeing a certain normalization after seeing peak prices at the beginning of the year,” Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said in a conference call on Tuesday.

The weed killer Roundup containing glyphosate is by far Bayer’s most important product in this area Monsanto. Precisely because glyphosate is a particularly profitable product for Bayer, the high sales prices are also driving earnings.

Farmers return their seeds

The agricultural division was able to increase its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) in the third quarter by a good third to 629 million euros, although there was a drop in sales in the seed business because many farmers in North America returned their orders . Farmers order their seeds at the beginning of the year, but depending on the weather, demand and yield situation, the area under cultivation changes over the course of the year and thus also the amount sown – which is why there are often returns in autumn. Nevertheless, according to Baumann, Bayer was able to increase its market share in corn – the most important crop for Bayer – compared to the competition, but there was a slight loss in market share in the soybean seed business.

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For detailed view

But even if the high price level is slowly returning to normal, there are still great long-term sales opportunities for the agricultural division, argued Baumann. As a result of climate change, for example, there are significantly longer and stronger dry seasons, not only in America and southern Europe. “The agricultural industry must react to this with innovations,” said Baumann, for example with seeds that can cope with less water, have a different pest resistance or offer the same yields on less acreage. “This is a major challenge for farmers,” said Baumann.

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