Crop protection supply chains in decent shape despite coronavirus fears


Mainstream news is one hundred percent focused on the coronavirus and how much it will impact consumer demand and economic growth. One of the big unknown factors is how it will restrict supply chains that involve components being sourced from China. The supply chain concerns are derived from areas of China being virtually shut down due to quarantines to contain the virus.

From a U.S. perspective, AgWeb and AgPro magazine ran a story recently saying that Coronavirus could have “profound impacts” on the supply chains of fertilizer and crop protection actives ingredients. Chinese companies manufacturer many of the actives that are found in your favourite herbicides and fungicides and more. If those plants are shut down it would restrict supply, which could cause shortages in farm country. This could cause a chain reaction of higher prices and possible product unavailability or switching.

RealAgriculture reached out to major crop production and fertilizer manufacturers to check on the level of concern in the Canadian market. The responses we received back are below:

  • Syngenta — “Currently, Syngenta Canada is not experiencing any disruption to materials or supply of products. Our operations around the world, including China, are operating normally and without disruption.”
  • BASF — “There have been no material shortages or supply interruptions to BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division in Canada and the impact to our operations is limited. We are closely monitoring the situation and continuously evaluating any potential consequences to our business as a result of the severity, spread and duration of the outbreak.”
  • Corteva — “We have not experienced any direct impacts to our business at this time, but we continue to assess and will make the necessary adjustments to ensure business continuity.”
  • Bayer — “We are closely monitoring the developments of the COVID-19 virus situation with colleagues around the world, and continue to have adequate supplies of inputs to supply the Canadian market. Should any constraints occur based on the ongoing developments, we will communicate with our distribution partners and retails in the same manner we would with any constrained supply situation.”

In the fertilizer market, Reuters ran a story claiming that Russian fertilizer manufacturers are seeing a spike in business due to coronavirus concerns in China.

“Like many business impacts around the coronavirus there is much speculation and limited guarantees at this point in time,” says RealAg’s Shaun Haney.  “At this point Canadian manufacturers are not willing to express supply chain concerns which may prove responsibly prudent or regrettable if there are any hiccups.”

RealAgriculture will continue to monitor the situation and track changes in concern based on any negative changes to the levels of coronavirus infections in China.

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