Examining the Second Tier of Agrochemicals

April 29, 2019by Jayhawk0
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In recent years, a flurry of merger and acquisition activity re-established and strengthened the first tier of agrochemical companies with pack leaders emerging, including: Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, and Corteva. Business models have shifted from vertically-integrated product companies in favor of innovators and marketers of agrochemicals and seed technologies. Asset ownership and product manufacturing is now heavily sub-contracted to a wide contingent of fine chemical custom manufacturing partners, where the CABB-JAYHAWK alliance features prominently.

Changes to the Second Tier of Agrochemicals

The assortment of companies in the second tier has responded to the significant realignments of those above them. Second-tier agrochemicals companies have found success in their own right with a slew of mergers, acquisitions and collaborations,  changing both strata of the agrochemicals market.

Here are just a few examples that highlight how the second tier of agrochemicals has emulated the shift characteristic of the new first tier:

  • Adama Agricultural Solutions: Born from the ChemChina acquisition of Makhteshim Agan in 2017, ADAMA has grown into a full-portfolio provider of agrochemicals and seed treatment products. Operating on multiple continents and serving the world market, ADAMA leads the new second tier.
  • FMC Corporation: FMC has evolved into an agrochemical sciences company, having acquired parts of the former DuPont Crop Protection after a business swap in 2017, and having divested its Lithium and machinery businesses as FMC Technologies and Livent Corporation, respectively. FMC is solely focused on crop protection, plant health, and professional pest and turf management.
  • Sumitomo Chemical: After a reorganization in 2011, Sumitomo’s Health & Crop Sciences Sector built their Total Solution Provider (TSP) business into a portfolio of agriculture-related products and services. These included crop protection chemicals, fertilizers, and agricultural materials. Collaborations with then-Monsanto, then-DuPont, and a merger with Excel Crop Care in 2018, provided additional assets for Sumitomo’s continued growth.
  • UPL: A traditional Indian manufacturer, UPL’s acquisition of Arysta Life Science in 2018 resulted in another consolidated provider of crop protection products and seed and soil applied technologies. UPL’s strategic partnership with Evonik enables further opportunities for UPL in adjuvants and formulated systems.
  • Nufarm: Australia’s contribution to the second tier, Nufarm is active on multiple continents. Recent partnerships with Sumitomo Chemical, and an acquisition of BASF’s Trunemco seed treatment business have expanded Nufarm’s offerings. A preference for toll-manufacturers has kept Nufarm focused on the marketing of formulated products and solutions.

This is consistent with the overarching global realignment of top agrochemical players worldwide, with increasing numbers of agricultural companies looking to optimize their products, services, or supply chains with external partners.

Agrochemical Services from CABB and JAYHAWK

The CABB-JAYHAWK partnership provides transatlantic custom fine chemical manufacturing services with extensive experience in the synthesis of chemical building blocks, active ingredients (AIs), and intermediates for a range of environmentally responsible agrochemical products.

If you would like detailed information about external manufacturing arrangements with our team, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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