Monsanto: RR herbicide in tight supply in Brazil
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Bioengineering pioneer Monsanto Co said supplies of glyphosate herbicide would be tight in Brazil in the 2008/09 (Oct/Sept) soy season as the result of strong demand for genetically modified crops and tight Chinese supplies due to environmental regulations.
"We understand that it will be a year of balanced supply and demand. It will depend a lot on China," Paulo Cau, director of Roundup Ready sales for Monsanto in Brazil, said in an interview with Reuters at a grain analyst event late Monday.
Monsanto's Roundup Ready soybeans are genetically designed to be resistant to glyphosate herbicide, which is also marketed by the company, as well as by other suppliers. About 70 percent of Brazil's glyphosate is locally produced but the remaining 30 percent is imported from China.
Chinese-made glyphosate prices on the local market have risen to around $14 a kilogram, from $3 in early 2007. Cau said the market has tightened globally after China began enforcing environmental laws on production of the agrochemical.
Brazil legalized GMO soybeans in 2005 and they now account for about 60 percent of total soy planting in the world's No. 2 producer. Glyphosate is used to clear weeds before planting and during the soy crop's development.
The glyphosate-resistant soy is being widely adopted in Brazil due to weeds that have become resistant to conventional herbicides.
"(Monsanto) is making an effort to increase its capacity to produce (glyphosate) in Brazil to attend a market that was supplied by China," Cau said.
(Reporting by Roberto Samora; Translating by Reese Ewing; Editing by Walter Bagley)