The Dow Chemical Co., parent company of Dow AgroSciences, announced second-quarter earnings for the business on July 27.
Agricultural Sciences reported second-quarter sales of $1.6 billion, up 3% year over year, driven by a double-digit increase in the seeds business. Volume increased 6%, with gains in both seeds and crop protection businesses, while price declined 3%.
Seed volume rose by double digits, primarily due to increased demand for Powercore corn seeds in Latin America as well as higher demand for cotton seeds in North America, including the successful launch of Enlist cotton. In the quarter, the business also received the necessary import approvals to allow for the full commercial launch of Enlist corn seeds in the U.S. and Canada for the 2018 growing season.
Crop protection volume increased on higher demand for herbicides and insecticides, which more than offset lower demand for fungicides. The business also benefited from the Enlist cotton seed launch through the accompanying increased sales of Enlist Duo herbicide. The business reported robust growth for its new crop protection chemicals and formulations, as sales of Arylex broadleaf herbicide nearly doubled year over year; Isoclast insecticide resumed its momentum in the marketplace after achieving key regulatory milestones, and new corn herbicide formulations gained traction in North America. Dow continues to see soft demand for rice herbicides in China on generic pressure and high channel inventories.
Operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization were $326 million, up from $232 million in the year-ago period, driven by robust demand for the business’s novel seeds and crop protection technologies and benefits from lower operating costs primarily driven by productivity actions.
Equity losses for the segment were $7 million, compared to equity losses of $11 million in the year-ago period.