RPT-UPDATE 1-As Monsanto fights Argentina over soy, company eyes Brazil
(Repeats Wednesday story for additional subscribers)
By P.J. Huffstutter and Tom Polansek
CHICAGO May 18 (Reuters) - A day after Monsanto Co said it would stop the launch of its latest soybean trait in Argentina due to concerns over royalty payments, company executives downplayed the impact and sought to turn the focus to business prospects in neighboring Brazil instead.
Brazil is "the real opportunity" for growth in South America for Monsanto's newest soy technology, known as Roundup Ready 2 Xtend, President Brett Begemann told investors at the BMO Capital Markets' conference in New York on Wednesday.
Monsanto Chief Commercial Officer Michael Frank, speaking at a separate investor conference, said the aborted soybean launch does not impact the rest of the company's business in Argentina.
Monsanto's dispute with the country revolves around a key issue: a lucrative revenue stream of royalties farmers typically pay to the company to save crops with genetically modified traits to reuse as seeds.
In Brazil, after a long dispute over the issue, Monsanto has negotiated agreements with soybean trading firms to collect such royalties for the seed giant.
But Monsanto and the Argentine government have been at loggerheads since the start of harvest in March, over the best way to inspect soy cargoes to ensure royalties have been paid on Monsanto's Intacta variety of soybeans.
The government says Monsanto has yet to submit a proposal for an inspection system. The company says it is waiting for the government to outline its inspection requirements. The inspections could involve private-sector companies. Continuación...