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Monsanto: Latin America Boost

Increased sales in Brazil and Argentina help Monsanto's bottom line in its first fiscal quarter.

BY CHRONICLE STAFF

U.S.-based Monsanto (MON), the world's largest seed producer, boosted first quarter 2009 results thanks to increased demand in Latin America.

"Our Latin American business once again displayed its strength and set the pace for a great fiscal 2009, giving us confidence to raise our earnings projections and helping us take another solid step toward fulfilling our 2012 gross profit commitments," Monsanto Chairman, President and CEO Hugh Grant said in a statement.

Monsanto's total sales in its first quarter 2009, which ended in November 2008, grew by 29.3 percent to $2.6 billion, while net income more than doubled to $556 million.

BRAZIL AND ARGENTINA

The company did not report details of revenues and net income by geographical area, but attributed the strong growth for both to increased sales in markets like Brazil and Argentina. "Strong demand in Brazil for Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides led the increase in Monsanto's first-quarter sales, followed by higher corn seed and trait sales in the United States and Brazil, and higher sales growth in soybean seeds and traits in the United States from strong early-season deliveries," the company said in the statement.

And the 34 percent increase in net sales of corn seed and traits was largely driven by the successful launches of the YieldGard Corn Borer trait technology in Brazil and the double-trait offering of YieldGard Corn Borer and Roundup Ready Corn 2 in Argentina, it added. "The company expects to sell 1.5 million to 2 million acres of YieldGard Corn Borer in Brazil this year, and has sold more than 2 million acres of YieldGard Corn Borer and Roundup Ready Corn 2 in Argentina," Monsanto said.

In addition to Brazil and Argentina, the company also operates in ten other Latin American markets, including MexicoChile and Venezuela.

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