Page last updated at 14:56 GMT, Wednesday, 7 October 2009 15:56 UK

Low herbicide sales hit Monsanto

Man in field of Roundup sugar beets
Analysts said the spike in Roundup sales had passed

US agrochemical giant Monsanto has reported wider losses in the fourth quarter, after a drop in sales of its Roundup herbicide brand.

The group made a net loss of $233m (£147m) in the quarter, compared with a $172m loss a year earlier.

Revenue fell to $1.88bn from $2.05bn the previous year. Sales in its agricultural chemical division, which includes Roundup, fell 12.5%.

Monsanto is the world's best-known maker of genetically modified crops.

Experts said the downturn in sales of Roundup did not come as a surprise.

"While the super spike they saw in Roundup was nice while it lasted, it is going to make for some nasty comparisons going forward," said Morningstar analyst Ben Johnson.

"The seeds business is really the long-term growth driver as a whole."

Earlier this year, Monsanto announced a plan to restructure its herbicide unit, cutting 900 jobs, or 4% of its workforce.

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