Last Update:
March 1, 2012

Business review Crop Protection

  • Sales increase in 2011 as a result of high demand, particularly in growth markets
  • Earnings exceed high level of previous year despite negative currency effects and increased investments in research and development as well as in sales activities
  • Outlook 2012: slight growth in the agricultural chemical market with crop commodity prices remaining volatile; sales and earnings to improve

Compared with the previous year, our sales to third parties grew by €132 million to €4,165 million, thanks to higher volumes. Despite increased investments in research and development as well as in growth markets, income from operations reached €808 million, exceeding the 2010 level by €59 million.

We will continue our successful innovation strategy in 2012 and we aim once again for sales and earnings growth.

Sales – Agricultural Solutions
(million €)

Income from operations –
Agricultural Solutions
(million €)

Factors influencing sales –
Agricultural Solutions

In the Crop Protection division, sales to third parties increased by €132 million to €4,165 million (volumes 6%, prices 0%, currencies –3%). This sales growth was primarily attributable to the positive market environment: Thanks to increased agricultural commodity prices and the resulting high liquidity in the agriculture sector, demand grew for our innovative crop protection products. On the other hand, the depreciation of the U.S. dollar had a negative impact on sales.

Factors influencing sales

  • Europe: sales growth mainly driven by strong demand from the growth markets of Eastern Europe
  • North America: sales decline, especially as a result of the depreciation of the U.S. dollar
  • Asia: sales improve considerably as a result of higher sales volumes
  • South America: sales increase thanks to higher prices and volume growth

At €1,659 million, sales in Europe were €93 million higher than in 2010. This increase was driven in particular by strong demand from the growth markets of Eastern Europe as well as by our successful fall business. In addition, our business with herbicides for sunflowers and corn (maize) made a significant contribution to sales growth. However, the extreme drought in our key markets in Western Europe during the first half of the year reduced demand for fungicides.

Crop Protection – Sales by region
(Location of customer)

Crop Protection – Sales by indication

In North America, our sales declined by €34 million to €965 million, in particular due to the depreciation of the U.S. dollar. Furthermore, the cultivated area declined due to flooding during the first half of the year; herbicide demand decreased. These developments could be partially offset by increased sales volumes of our fungicides for plant health, as farmers were more willing to invest in products that offer benefits beyond disease control.

In Asia, our sales improved considerably thanks to higher sales volumes, rising by €49 million to €487 million. This growth was particularly attributable to our successful herbicide business in India as well as to strong demand for products based on F 500® in the growth markets of India and China. In India, we also benefited from our Samruddhi business model, which focuses on training farmers in the proper use of crop protection products and fertilizers in order to increase yields.

As a result of higher prices and growing volumes, sales in South America grew by €24 million to €1,054 million, despite negative currency effects. In particular, our business with the AgCelence® production system – a combined product offering that ranges from seed treatment to foliar applications – grew considerably. Insecticides for sugarcane and seed treatment were in high demand, especially in Brazil. For example, our innovative seed treatment Standak® Top sold very well on the Brazilian market.

In this positive business environment, we achieved income from operations of €808 million, exceeding the high level of the previous year by €59 million. The rise in earnings was limited by negative currency effects as well as our planned increase in investments in research and development and the expansion of our sales team in growth regions.

We expect slight growth in the market for agricultural chemicals in 2012. We anticipate that prices for agricultural commodities will continue to be highly volatile and remain above the historical average. In addition to agricultural commodity prices and weather conditions, the exchange rates of important currencies will play an important role in our business development. In light of our recently launched products and the expansion of our business in growth markets, we want to grow faster than the market in 2012. We aim to improve sales and earnings. Information relevant to the principles of the Global Compact

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Segment data Agricultural Solutions1 (million €)




Research and development expenses, sales, earnings and all other data of BASF Plant Science are not included in the Agricultural Solutions segment; they are reported in Other.





Change in %

Sales to third parties





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Sales including intersegmental transfers





Income from operations before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA)





EBITDA margin




Income from operations (EBIT) before special items





Income from operations (EBIT)





Income from operations (EBIT) after cost of capital










Research and development expenses





Additions to property, plant and equipment and intangible assets





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