Commercial business

Overall sales in 2022 were $11.8 million, an increase of 40% compared with 2021 ($8.4 million). Sales by region are listed in the table below:

Sales of core Harpinαβ products increased by 36%, driven by sales of greater than $1.0 million each to three of our distribution partners. Harpinαβ represented 69% of sales in 2022 (2021: 71%).

Sales in North America were up 74% in 2022 to $4.8m, led by support from our two distribution partners in USA corn and specialty crops. Strong demand for the Group’s Harpinαβ seed treatment product delivers higher yields due to stronger corn plants that are protected from stress. In-market sales to growers are now approaching 1% of the USA corn market of 92 million acres. EPA registration of PHC279 was granted in Q1 2023 with a limited launch planned for late 2023 under the brand Obrona™ through our distribution partner Wilbur-Ellis.

Employ® sales in the USA specialty crop market to growers continued strong in 2022. Wilbur-Ellis has over 600 field employees who are focused on selling differentiated biostimulant product offerings into the specialty crop markets. Employ® helps the plant improve its own natural ability to defend against abiotic and biotic stress factors, including nematodes, which improves overall crop yield.

Our Brazil business more than doubled in 2022, with revenue up 104% to $2.2m compared to 2021, consisting of sales of Harpinαβ in sugarcane and Saori® in soybeans via our partnership with Nutrien, as a seed treatment for control of Asian soybean rust and other diseases. Saori™ is the Group’s first product from its PREtec platform to be commercialised and is the first PREtec peptide approved in Brazil. Saori was fully launched in Brazil in the second quarter of 2022 generating revenue of $0.8 million.

PREtec peptides represent a novel class of technology which stimulates the plant to defend itself. Nutrien has a goal to build a differentiated biological portfolio and the addition of Saori™ is a major step in that direction. Derived from natural proteins, PREtec is an environmentally friendly approach to protecting crops and is compatible with mainstream agricultural practices. Brazil is the world’s leading soybean producer with more than 42 million hectares (104 million acres) expected to be planted in the 2022/23 season. Asian soybean rust, caused by the fungus Phakopsora pachyrhizi, is a devastating disease which can lead to crop yield loss of up to 90%. Brazilian soybean farmers spent $2.85 billion on disease control in the 2019/20 season.

2022 sales in the EMEAA region were down 16% to $1.3m due to drought impacting crops in Spain and Portugal and currency exchange rates. Harpinαβ sales into glasshouse areas in Southern Spain grew by +80% compared to the prior year. The Group signed an exclusive distribution agreement with EDAF Unipessoal LDA Portugal to distribute our new PREtec-containing fertilizer, PREzym™, for use on fruits, vegetables and cereals beginning in 2023.

Plant Health Care Mexico has a broad biological product line for farmers in Mexico including third-party products. Harpinαβ represented 16% of sales in 2022, with third-party products making up the remainder. Revenue from the Mexican business increased 13% (12% in constant currency) in 2022 to $3.4 million (2021: $3.0 million).This was primarily due to the rebound in the specialty crop market following the effects of the Covid pandemic. PHC Mexico is opening new markets in agave, sugar cane and avocado which is expected to grow in the coming years.