One of the world's largest agribusinesses, Syngenta Group, said products that enable farmers to grow food more sustainably helped lead the company to record sales in the first half of 2021, with business volume up 24% compared to the same period in 2020.

“Strong Syngenta Group first quarter 2021 performance continued in the second quarter,” the company said in a news release. “All business units achieved double-digit growth in the first half of 2021.”

“We are focused on developing and launching products and services that enable farmers to grow good crops despite drought, heat, flooding, and high wind or other weather extremes,” Syngenta Group CEO Erik Fyrwald said. “Our results demonstrate that we are meeting the needs of local growers not only with our sustainable products, but also with our digitally enabled services.”

Total sales for the first half of 2021 were $14.4 billion. Sales for the company’s second quarter, which ended June 30, were $7.4 billion, up 28% over the same quarter in 2020. Syngenta Crop Protection accounted for $3.4 billion, Syngenta Group China for $2.3 billion (+36%), Israel-based ADAMA $1.5 billion (+18%), and Syngenta Seeds $800 million (+24%).

EBITDA, which Syngenta said it defines as “earnings before interest, tax, non-controlling interests, depreciation, amortization, restructuring and impairment,” was up 25% in the second quarter, to $1.2 billion.

The company cited several factors for its continued growth, including strong grain prices that led to more planted acreage.

It also said its “focus on helping farmers adapt to climate change and be part of the solution is creating growth opportunities.”

The company took note of “increased demand for ENOGEN corn for feed, which increases feed efficiency in both beef and dairy by 5% and reduces methane intensity by as much as 7%.”

“Prices of most grains remained robust during the first half of 2021, resulting in increased planted area and higher demand,” the company said. “Demand was strongest for Syngenta Group products that help farmers combat ongoing drought conditions in North and Latin America, especially the western United States and Brazil, as well as cold snaps in Europe and floods worldwide.”

In addition, its acquisition in October of biologicals manufacturer Valagro is paying dividends. Sales of biologicals were up 27% in the first half of the year.

China, where the company is planning an initial public offering on Shanghai’s STAR Market, also continues to be a source of growth for the company.

Syngenta Group China’s sales in the first half of 2021 were $4.2 billion, compared to 2020's first-half sales of $2.9 billion. “Syngenta Group China’s Crop Protection business increased sales by 35%,” the company said, which included a tripling in sales of seeds, including vegetables.

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In addition, Syngenta reported strong adoption of its Modern Agriculture Platform (MAP) in China. The company has launched 413 MAP centers in the country, which it describes as “a network and platform to guide and supply farmers through the process of modernizing their farms sustainably and connecting them to premium buyers — increasing the quality of their crops and their profitability.”

“MAP sales more than tripled to $0.9 billion in the first half by providing farmers with products and services that enable them to grow more sustainably and produce higher quality crops that can be sold at higher prices,” Syngenta Group said.

ADAMA sales grew 18% in the first half of 2021, “with continued robust growth in all key regions, pushing year-to-date sales to a record high of more than $2.9 billion,” the company said. Sales for the first six months were down 1% in Europe but up 55% in China, 19% in North America, 18% in Latin America, and 17% in India, Middle East and Africa.

The $2 billion in Syngenta Seeds sales in the first half were aided by farmer purchases of vegetable seeds, which rose 15% across all regions. Meanwhile, field crop sales increased 14% in Europe, Africa and the Middle East and 10% in Latin America. North American sales lagged with only a 1% jump.

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