Jul. 26, 2017
Sales of DuPont’s Agriculture segment were increased by 7% to $3.4 billion in the second quarter of 2017 which ended June 30th. Strong crop protection demand and increased soybean area in North America drove 8% volume growth, which was partially offset by a 1% decline in local price.
Operating earnings were up 11% to $963 million reflecting greater volumes partially offset by declines in local price and higher product costs. Volume growth was driven by increased insecticide and fungicide sales, a benefit from the southern U.S. route-to-market change and higher soybean sales in North America, driven by the increase in planted area. Reductions in local price reflected declines in crop protection and increased product costs mainly driven by higher soybean royalties. Operating margins expanded by about 105 basis points.
Seed sales rose 6% driven by the benefit from the change in the southern U.S. route-to-market and increased soybean volumes in North America.
Crop protection sales rose 10% driven by increased insecticide and fungicide volumes, including new Zorvec® and Vessarya® technologies. Strong volumes were partially offset by lower local price due to competitive pressure in Latin America and Asia.
First-half year of 2017
Strong performance in both seed and crop protection drove top and bottom-line growth. Sales of $7.4 billion increased 5% as a 5% increase in volume and a 1% increase in local price was partially offset by a 1% decline related to portfolio changes.
Operating earnings rose 12% to $2,199 million on growth in volume and local price. Volume growth was driven by a benefit from the change in timing of seed deliveries. Volume growth was partially offset by the expected decline in corn volume related to reduced corn area in North America. Pricing growth was realized by double-digit increases in Brazil driven by the company's newest corn hybrids and lower product cost within crop protection, partially offset by price declines in Latin America and Asia and higher soybean royalties. Operating margins expanded by about 175 basis points.
Crop protection sales rose 7% driven by increased insecticide and fungicide volumes, including new Zorvec® technology and the full return of Lannate® and Vydate® volumes. Strong volumes were partially offset by lower local pricing due to competitive pressure in Latin America and Asia.
Anticipate lower planted corn area in the Brazil summer season coming off strong plantings and good yields in the previous summer season and a sharp decline in domestic commodity prices. These dynamics are causing farmers in Brazil to delay purchase decisions until closer to planting as they closely scrutinize their cropping plans.
North America farm-level income is expected to continue to be pressured as commodity prices remain soft and current crop conditions are less favorable than last year as the region progresses through a critical stage in the growing season.