Sumitomo Chemical has decided to establish its “Latin America Research Center” in Brazil that will conduct efficacy trials, research and development, and analyses of crop protection products and other related products.

The Latin America Research Center, which will be operated by Sumitomo Chemical Brazil, the Company's wholly owned subsidiary, will be Sumitomo Chemical Group’s first research and development base in Latin America. The Research Center is expected to accelerate development of products most befitting to the local conditions and requirements through conducting detailed and highly reliable trials and researches geared specifically to the Latin American market, Sumitomo Chemical's strategically important region for the crop protection products business. In particular, setting up the new research and development arm in the Southern Hemisphere makes it possible to carry out field trials more efficiently by selecting a region with the most suitable climatic conditions, given that the Company's existing R&D facilities are all located in the Northern Hemisphere where seasons are opposite to those of the Southern Hemisphere.

The crop protection market in Latin America has been growing rapidly in recent years, currently accounting for approximately 25 percent of the world market. The Brazilian market is the world's largest, surpassing the U.S. market. The Latin American region, which embraces Argentina, one of the world’s leading agricultural producers, and Central American countries known for their large-scale plantations, is likely to see greater growth in the years ahead in agricultural production, hence, demand for crop protection products, against the backdrop of food demand ever surging in emerging countries.

In 2013, Sumitomo Chemical opened a branch office of Sumitomo Chemical Brazil in Argentina to strengthen development and sales capabilities for crop protection products in Latin America. This initiative was augmented earlier in August this year by consolidating the Group’s postharvest treatment business and crop protection products business in Chile through merging two of the Group companies engaged in the respective businesses. Going forward, Sumitomo Chemical will vigorously work to fortify and expand the business in Latin America.