"2023 has been a tough year for several industries, including the agrochemical industry in Mexico."
Can you update us on your recent operations?
For AMVAC, we focus on ways to increase our field presence looking to offer better support for the farmers. We have recently launched several new products and are consolidating some concepts that we launched four years ago. Most importantly, we have a solid team, including a strong group of salespeople.
What is the state of the agrochemical industry at the moment?
2023 has been a tough year for several industries, including the agrochemical industry. Recently, at the PROCCyT meeting of R&D-based companies in Cancun, most of the companies described a challenging year. The super peso is not helping because it is challenging for expenses and exports. Most of the farmers that are exporting their products are looking to reduce their expenses and costs. Additionally, the year was challenging regarding weather, with severe conditions across the country – droughts in some regions in Mexico and floods in others, including the hurricane Norma in Sinaloa, which destroyed the first stage of the vegetable season or Otis in Guerrero. However, the storms did not reach the mountains, and the dams are at less than 50%. The fourth quarter will be critical, as we are hearing about a 50% reduction in vegetables and 70 to 80% in corn, beans, and other crops.
What are the benefits of your star offering SmartSoil?
The first time we brought SmartSoil into the conversation, nobody in the industry talked about soil health and the benefits of taking care of soil. Now, there is a lot of enthusiasm and discussion around soil health. I am proud that we started with an idea everyone now sees as widely important. It is the base of the investment and a crucial part of our industry. We are working with the farmer to benefit the root system and have a robust microbiome supporting the plant's performance. We started our SmartSoil offering working with agave and expanded to potatoes. Now, we are working on vegetables and berries. The benefit of SmartSoil is that it improves the farmer's productivity with better yields at better costs solving in addition a specific important problem.
How are slow registration processes impacting AMVAC?
In this industry, we need to present significant information for approvals for every product we want to launch. So to then, after getting the approval, have the authorities say a product is not safe is ridiculous. The Mexican government is putting intense pressure on glyphosate and other products.
At the same time, you do not get new approvals. We are trying to work with the authorities, developing products with greener technology, trying to comply with their demand to develop alternatives to agrochemicals. Today, AMVAC has submitted 14 registrations, for which we have not received any response or information. We have 15 other pending registrations for which we have received a note saying that we need to review the information, and we will be approved. After answering the demands, we are still waiting to hear back from Cofepris. Some of these are from 2018. If they want to have better, greener technology, they must speed up the process of registrations. Approving advanced registrations would support the government's strategy.
What is your strategy for the coming year?
AMVAC has two primary areas of focus. On the one hand, we are looking for internal growth. We are determining how to maintain our franchise products that are still extremely important for the grower. We continue growing in our core offerings in the marketplace. Additionally, we keep looking for new technologies and products that can be developed directly by AMVAC or acquired through third-party alliances. We continue looking for partners to work with or acquire.
At AMVAC, we know that the tools we develop will benefit our principal customer, the farmer, and our final customer, the consumer. We are working to increase our biological offering through BioAmvac. AMVAC is currently waiting for the registration of new products that we acquired in Central America. One of the products in this new line is an offering that increases sugar cane production. AMVAC will keep looking for concepts that increase the field's productivity and continue searching for new concepts to add to our portfolio.