Xingfa Extends Its Success to Crop Protection

Li Gouzhang, chairman, Hubei Xingfa Chemicals Group

Li Gouzhang, chairman, Hubei Xingfa Chemicals Group

As the largest phosphate producer in central China, Hubei Xingfa Chemicals Group is used to price volatility. Since 1984, Xingfa has been riding a wave of uncertainty in the global fertilizer market. This proved to be the best training for its entry to the crop protection market with glyphosate in 2006.

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“We export to over 70 countries, and we know how unpredictable it can be,” says Li Gouzhang, chairman. “So, when we decided to get into crop protection, we were ready, especially with glyphosate.”

Back-integrated to phosphorous mines and hydro power, Xingfa’s yellow phosphorus is being purchased by many companies in China. The company also has a chain of key raw materials, manufacturing expertise and export relationships. “We had a really good product, high-end yellow phosphorus, and salt, so we said, ‘Why not do this ourselves?’” Li says. “It makes good business sense.”

To be successful in the crop protection business, the largest adjustment has been in R&D, as Li points out, the changing customer demand and need for new and improved products and formulations is an area where Xingfa has to separate itself from other suppliers.

“Not every company can keep up with the changing customer demands in crop protection. We have had very good success in this area with our food grade and technical grade products in the past,” Li says. “Based on our commitment to invest and strong R&D, we feel we can excel at this.”

Xingfa supplies both technical grade and formulated glyphosate, in 41% Solution and 75% WDG. In China, the company sells glyphosate under the Trisun brand, with a majority of the tech being exported. Currently, it’s a 50-50 split on export and domestic sales. Xingfa has a production capacity of 70,000 mt per annum, and will look to expand to 130,000 mt by the end of September, which will place it near the top of the list as one of China’s largest glyphosate producers.

Li, who was born and raised on a farm in Hubei province, knows that partnerships will be the key to success in the crop protection market.

“We have made good progress, but still we have a lot to learn. We really want to be open to markets and ideas going forward. We know this is the key to our success in
crop protection.”