RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – A combination of several winning product launches, a focus on meeting customers’ needs and successful efforts to manage costs resulted in a positive year for the BASF Agricultural Products business in North America in 2003, the company announced.

“We are pleased that the business strategy we instituted in late 2002 worked successfully in 2003,” said Bill Wisdom, vice president of Agricultural Products, North America, for BASF. “Overall, a number of factors, including a focus on profitability, a business model designed to meet the needs of our customers, new product launches, and cost management efforts, combined to produce a very positive year for our business in North America.”

Among specific accomplishments in 2003 for North America, Wisdom cited:

-- The introduction of new products include Headline and Cabrio EG fungicides for the citrus, peanut, potato, cereals, fruit and vegetable markets; Pentia plant regular for cotton; and the Clearfield Production System for wheat and sunflower, including Beyond herbicide, Insignia fungicide for the golf course market, Pendulum Aqua Cap herbicide for the professional turf market, and Overdrive herbicide for the non-crop pasture, hay and rangeland markets.

-- BASF successfully completed the purchase of the active ingredient fipronil, incorporating Regent insecticide into its growing portfolio of products for the nation’s corn growers. This acquisition also strengthened the U.S. Specialty Products business by adding Termidor, the leading termiticide/insecticide, to the BASF professional pest control portfolio.

-- BASF proactively streamlined its business in an effort to compete long-term in an ever-changing market and refocused on the business needs of its customers.

-- The company continued to identify and incorporate ways to strengthen its relationship with key customers in 2003.

“Like our distributor and retailer partners, we are striving to focus on core competencies; deliver a differentiating offer; set reasonable business expectations; and responsibly manage costs,” Wisdom said. “We saw that strategy work in 2003, and we intend to stay on that same course in 2004 and beyond.”

Looking to 2004, the company is launching at least four new products to the marketplace, including Pristine and Endura fungicides for the fruit, vegetable, peanut and tree nut markets; and Prowl H2O herbicide for the corn and soybean market, and Habitat herbicide for the aquatic weed control market in North America.

“These launches are not only indicative of our strong product-development pipeline, but reflect our ability and commitment to meet the needs of our business customers and ultimately their customers as well.” Wisdom said.

“We take nothing for granted, but we are optimistic heading into 2004 and beyond,” Wisdom said. “Working closely with our trade partners we are on track to meet the challenges of today’s changing markets and confident we will meet the expectations of our customers.”

For more information about BASF products, see your local retailer or visit the BASF Web site at www.agproducts.basf.com.

With sales of €3 billion in 2002, BASF’s Agricultural Products division is a leading supplier and marketer of fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. Based on its broad experience in R&D, manufacturing, marketing and sales, the vision of BASF’s Agricultural Products division is to be the world’s leading innovator, optimizing agricultural production, improving nutrition, and thus enhancing the quality of life for a growing world population. Further information on BASF Agricultural Products can be found on the web at www.basf.de/en/produkte/gesundheit/pflanzen.

e-mail: flaws@primediabusiness.com