Interviews with Speakers in the ACE Conferences

11th national agrochemical symposium was held in Shanghai by CCPIA during 19-21st October, 2011. In the period, several international experts gave the wonderful presentation. Related to their points, we recorded some documentary content as follows:

Interviewee: Alan Knowles  BSc CChem FRSC

Q: Over the last decade, formulation technology has developed rapidly, although the proportion is decreasing, but the EC is still one of the most convenient formulation, how do you think it’s prospects?

For many years solvent based emulsifiable concentrates (EC) and powder formulations (DP and WP) have been very popular for agrochemical formulations around the world. In recent years there has been a trend to move away from the use of solvents towards water based formulations such as suspension concentrates (SC) and oil-in-water emulsions (EW). At the same time dusty powder formulations are being replaced by dust-free water dispersible granules (WG).

Q: You have many years of research experience and has been in China for a quite while from 1993, What are the differences between Chinese and the developed country? How to improve?

It is currently estimated that in developed countries the proportion of EC, DP and WP formulations represent to about 55% of all formulation types, while at the same time newer and safer water based and water dispersible granule formulations represent about 30% of all formulation types. China is also moving towards the safer and more environment friendly formulations. However, the latest figures from ICAMA, Beijing indicate that EC, DP and WP formulations represent about 65% of all formulations, and newer and safer water based and water dispersible granule formulations represent about 20% of all formulation types. Recent changes to ICAMA regulations regarding the policy to reduce of the number of EC formulation plants and to register more environment friendly formulations in the future suggest that the ratio of old to new formulation technologies will gradually meet the average in developed countries.

 Q: Over the last decade, formulation technology has developed rapidly, although the proportion is decreasing, but the EC is still one of the most convenient formulation, how do you think it’s prospects?

For many years solvent based emulsifiable concentrates (EC) and powder formulations (DP and WP) have been very popular for agrochemical formulations around the world. In recent years there has been a trend to move away from the use of solvents towards water based formulations such as suspension concentrates (SC) and oil-in-water emulsions (EW). At the same time dusty powder formulations are being replaced by dust-free water dispersible granules (WG).

Q: You have many years of research experience and has been in China for a quite while from 1993, What are the differences between Chinese and the developed country? How to improve?

It is currently estimated that in developed countries the proportion of EC, DP and WP formulations represent to about 55% of all formulation types, while at the same time newer and safer water based and water dispersible granule formulations represent about 30% of all formulation types. China is also moving towards the safer and more environment friendly formulations. However, the latest figures from ICAMA, Beijing indicate that EC, DP and WP formulations represent about 65% of all formulations, and newer and safer water based and water dispersible granule formulations represent about 20% of all formulation types. Recent changes to ICAMA regulations regarding the policy to reduce of the number of EC formulation plants and to register more environment friendly formulations in the future suggest that the ratio of old to new formulation technologies will gradually meet the average in developed countries.

Interviewee: Tom Grey  Head Global Sourcing of Syngenta

Q: How many Chinese companies does Syngenta cooperation with? How to achieve win-win?

We collaborate with 40-50 Chinese companies. Syngenta believes in working closely with our suppliers and partners. We provide expertise and resource in critical areas such as HSE, quality management, technical support (chemistry, chemical engineering, analytical sciences) and supply chain management.

Q: How to improve competitiveness for Chinese enterprises?

Chinese companies must adopt a programme of continuous improvement with the projects and products they already have – in addition to introducing new products and technologies. They must drive plant capacity, yield improvements, materials efficiencies and HSE standards. Syngenta has an active programme to support our Chinese partners in these critical areas.

Q: Will your company cooperate with more Chinese companies in the future? What products are involved?

Syngenta continues to strive for new partners and relationships with companies in China, as well as further develop and deepen our collaborations with our current suppliers and partners. We will continue to bring new intermediates and active ingredients to China for our partners to support our sourcing strategy.

Interviewee: Gilles Nicollier  Global Regulatory Manager of Syngenta

Q: Huge share of generic pesticide market, with the higher development costs and the registration requirements, is the R & D initiative affected for Syngenta?  How to balance for Syngenta?

Syngenta usually try to defend the market share of its off-patent products as good as possible making new mixture with new compounds or other ones in order to provide enough return on investment for the R&D for new active ingredients.

Q: Syngenta is the most active agricultural R & D activities and, published 182 patent applications. Could you introduce this aspect of this year?

Research on new targets (insect, weed or fungi) is performed in close relationship with the biology and its customers the farmers. New solutions, and new mode of action specially in fungicide and insecticide fields are being developed. This year the company is developing a new strategy with its focus on crops and not so much only on active ingredient.

Q: Could you tell me the ratio of costs of Syngenta research and development accounted for the sales?

Usually R&D represents almost 10% of the budget.

Q: Could you introduce Syngenta’s research and development plan?

As already said before, Syngenta has this year merged his two pillars: Syngenta Crop protection and Syngenta Seed with a focus on crops in order to provide a complete solution to its customers the farmers.  This strategy will strengthen its research portfolio, and give a new direction and dimension to its R&D. Crops will be the focus and all what is related to the crops.

Interviewee: Bhushan Mandava  President of Mandava Associates, LLC

Q: Are the registration requirements of America or Canada or Mexico and NAFTA same?

No. They are not the same. This is because their national laws for regulating pesticides are different. Canada and USA have somewhat similar data requirements for the registration of pesticides.

Q: As we know that the EU’s endocrine screening program is in progress, a number of compounds have been listed in the directory, so how is the similar project of NAFTA going?

The endocrine screening program in NAFTA is somewhat similar to that of EU’s endocrine screening program. The U.S. listed about 60 pesticide active ingredients for Tier I testing.(initial screening). Canada has also listed several pesticides for Tier I testing. The U.S. EPA uses exposure criteria for selection of pesticides for Tier I testing.

Q: From your perspective, how to build their brands into the U.S. market for the Chinese enterprises?

I do not see any problem to market the brand name products by Chinese enterprises into the U.S. market provided that they do adequate publicity/advertising so that the distributors and growers recognize their brands.

Interviewee: Dr. B. Saha  Ph.D, MBA Senior Vice President- R&D and Technology

Q: Will your company cooperate with more Chinese companies in the future? What products are involved?

Our company has been collaborating with Chinese companies for many years. We purchase large quantity of different intermediates from China. In future we want to have more cooperation with Chinese companies, including import of pesticide Technicals.

Q: How about aspects of export and import of pesticides in India?

India is one of the leading exporters of pesticides. We export our products all over the world including USA, Europe, Australia and Asia. Indian companies give lots of importance to quality which has helped us to secure business from all over the world.

India also imports pesticides from different countries including China.

Q: As a big generic agrochemicals manufacturers, which agrochemical varieties are advanced in the world?

In India, insecticides market is biggest. But the fungicides and herbicides market is growing rapidly. Worldwide, herbicides are the biggest market.

Q: How many agrochemicals enterprises in India?

India has a large number of agrochemical enterprises. There are about 30 big manufacturers and more than 250 formulators in India.

Q: Could you introduce of your company briefly?

Nagarjuna Agrichem Limited, belonging to Nagarjuna Group, is one of the most reputed agrochemical companies in India. It has turnover of about 140 million USD. The company has 3 manufacturing plants. We produce both Technicals and formulations. We are contract manufacturer for leading agrochemical companies of the world. Also, we have strong presence in the Indian domestic market where we sell our own brands.There are 8850 dealers in India who sell our products. We are present in all the segments such as insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and plant growth regulators. Nagarjuna Agrichem Limited has got ISO-9001, ISO-14001 and OHSAS 14001 certification. We are the only agrochemical company in India who has implemented “Zero Liquid Effluent Discharge” scheme for environmental protection. Our Quality Assurance Laboratory has all sophisticated instruments including GC-MS, LC-MS, HPLC, GLC, Spectrophotometers etc. At present we are setting up Corporate R&D Centre at a cost of 5 million USD. We are also planning to set up GLP lab for regulatory studies.

Interviewee: Claudio Mereu  Partner Avocat-Avvocato Member of the Brussels & Rome Bar  Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP

Q: What is the biggest change between new regulation and the old one?

There are three main changes, first, companies which are not based in the EU can now hold a registration directly on their own name; second, the criteria for approval of active ingredients have been toughened (e.g., Endocrine disruptors is a new requirement) and expanded (also synergists and safeners will need to be approved); and third, vertebrate data cannot be duplicated and there are mandatory provisions to allow the sharing of vertebrate the data.

Q: Now, new regulations have been implemented, according to you know, so far, how many active ingredients be canceled?

Active ingredients approved under the old rules will continue to remain on the market until the expiry of the approval (starting in 2013 onwards); they will then be re-assessed in accordance with the new Regulation and at that point it may be that some of them will be cancelled.

Q: More activity ingredients be canceled, the market share of large companies will be more, right?

Correct, although with mandatory data sharing rules there is an opportunity for generics to enter that market.

Q: Could you introduce of your LLP please?

We are a European-based law firm specialised in EU regulatory matters, with particular focus on pesticides, chemicals and biocides. We assist companies in product registration procedures, data sharing negotiations and litigation, and more generally, all EU-related regulatory issues. See web page http://www.ffw.com/people/search-all/m/claudio-mereu.aspx

Interviewee: Dr. Phil Lane Global Research Crop Protection Director Fungicides of BASF

Q: Fungicides business accounted for a large proportion of BASF’s agrochemicals business; may I ask you your expectations of the new product?

 We expect this project to be a significant addition to our already extensive portfolio and with its broad range of applications will be one of the top fungicides on a global scale.

Q: When will the new product be launched in China?

 We expect to launch in 2013 in China assuming that the registrations are granted in time.

Q: Compared to other products, What are the advantages of Xemium?

 Xemium® has curative as well as protectant activity. This together with a broad spectrum of action, permits a very broad range of applications in a large number of globally important crops.

Q: What‘s yours consideration of formulation development?

Formulation is a crucial aspect in optimising the performance of an active ingredient and ensuring that the inherent activity is full expressed under field conditions. In this respect both the solo and mixture formulations of Xemium® have been extensively optimised in order to secure the top performance of Xemium under field conditions. This has included optimisation of the retention of the compound on the leaf and its movement into and within the leaf which are critical for its residual activity.

Interviewee: Huang Xinpei  Lead R&D Manager Dow Agrosciences

Q: How about your company’s expectation of the new product?

Firstly, it’s a good agrochemical product. As sales, it depends on market conditions, future market development, as well as the product itself.

Q: Compared with imidacloprid, what are the properties of the new product?

Although both acting by nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, sulfoxaflor is not neonicotinoid insecticide, with different functional group, mode of action and metabolic resistance. Sulfoxaflor exhibits no cross-resistance to IMI resistant pests.

Q: When will the new product be launched in China?

We expect to launch in 2013 in China assuming that the registrations are granted in time.

Q: The resistance issue is the bottleneck of imidacloprid development, do you think about the resistance of sulfoxaflor?

Yes, we did. So far, there is no evidence to show the resistance of sulfoxaflor. That’s why it is one of key developed products. Company attaches great importance to this issue. For example, implement are applied in the future including reduction of frequency of use, dosage, and alternative use of different mechanisms of insecticides to slow down or avoid developing resistance.

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