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Yara and Akzo Nobel enter global marketing agreement

May 23, 2005
Yara and Akzo Nobel Chelates and Micronutrients expect the global cooperation to further strengthen the market position of both companies and that Yara's global distribution set-up will enable further growth of chelated micronutrients. Yara together with SQM, in line with the marketing agreement between the two companies, will, with the exception of Italy, Spain, Israel and USA, become the exclusive distributor worldwide for Akzo Nobel within the agricultural application segment.
"Chelated micronutrients are complementing our strong product portfolio within specialty plant nutrients. We believe we will increase the sale of chelated products significantly over the next years," says Terje Knutsen, Vice President Downstream Marketing and Specialities at Yara. "With this agreement we have a complete portfolio in place, and we are well positioned to serve the fertigation segment, the foliar segment as well as the segment for dry application. Together with our alliance partners we can offer growers all around the world the plant nutrition solutions they require for production of high quality crops."
One of the most pronounced trends in the fertilizer market is the increased focus on specialty fertilizers. Yara is currently the number one global brand within the cash crop segment (fruit, flowers and vegetables).
"The strength of this agreement is that it brings together independent partners with their specific expertise. Yara and SQM's worldwide distribution and network of specialists will make it possible for us to serve growers with our quality micronutrients in an optimized way," says Geert Hofman, General Manager of the Chelates and Micronutrients business at Akzo Nobel. "This is an excellent stepping stone for future growth on a truly global basis for our Micronutrients business."
Chelates are molecules that protect the micronutrient from adverse soil conditions making it more available for the plants. Iron is the largest chelated micronutrient product segment with copper, manganese and zinc as other important market segments.  Chelation of minerals improves the availability of these elements in soil, foliar and hydroponic applications and allows for healthy plants and crops.  The total market value for chelated micronutrients products for plant nutrition purpose is approximately 180 million USD.
Egil Hogna, Investor Relations
Telephone  (+47) 24 15 71 66
Cellular (+47) 90 187 865
Arne Cartridge, Media Relations
Telephone (+47) 24 15 73 01
Cellular (+47) 47 900 900
Akzo Nobel Functional Chemicals - Chelates and Micronutrients
Anders Mollenstahl + 31 (0)33 4676226
Yara International ASA is the world's leading supplier of mineral fertilizers with particular strength in nitrogen-based fertilizers. Yara has a local presence in 50 countries worldwide. Yara sells more than 20 million tonnes of mineral fertilizers in more than 120 countries. Yara offers fertilizers meeting the nutrient needs of local crops supported by agronomic advice to make farming more profitable and agriculture more sustainable. Yara has a strong position in industrial markets in Europe as a supplier of nitrogen-based chemicals and is the leading supplier of liquid CO2.
Akzo Nobel' Chelates & Micronutrients is part of Functional Chemicals, a multi-faceted business, headquartered in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. Sales in 2004 totaled EUR 604 million. Functional Chemicals consists of a number of different businesses that manufacture and sell a variety of chemical intermediates, formulation ingredients and/or process aids on a global basis. Besides being the world's largest supplier of mono-chloroacetic acid (MCA), Functional Chemicals is a major producer of ethylene amines, chelates and micronutrients, cellulosic specialties, sulfur products, and polysulfides.  Akzo Nobel, based in the Netherlands, serves customers throughout the world with healthcare products, coatings and chemicals. Consolidated revenues for 2004 totaled EUR 12.9 billion. The Company currently employs some 61,000 people in more than 80 countries.
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