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Chemical giant DuPont (DD - Analyst Report) opened a seed production facility in Stasi, Dykanka region, Poltava oblast, Ukraine to help farmers increase their harvests. The facility will produce seeds of maize, sunflower and rape.  

The $40 million facility is built in one of the most productive maize and sunflower growing regions globally. DuPont’s investment in the facility shows its commitment to meet the world’s increasing demand for nutritious food.

The Stasi facility had the logistics facility built two years ago and employs around 70 employees to support the warehousing, distribution and production of maize and sunflower hybrids. In addition to the Stasi personnel, DuPont Pioneer currently has roughly 150 employees in Ukraine including over 70 field sales agronomists promoting Pioneer brand products throughout the country.  

DuPont Pioneer, the agriculture business arm of DuPont, is a market leader in Ukraine for maize hybrids and continues to expand its sunflower and oilseed rape hybrid business. The company aims to double its grain production in Ukraine and is working with farmers in Ukraine and Russia to meet the growing needs and make sure that a steady supply of grains is available.

DuPont witnessed a 14% rise in agriculture sales in the first quarter of 2013, buoyed by healthy demand for its corn hybrids and strong planting activity by growers. An early and strong start in the North American growing season bolstered the agriculture business (roughly 45% of total sales) in the quarter.

DuPont, which carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), and is expected to release its second quarter results on July 23.

Other companies in the chemical space that are worth considering include Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. (SHECY), Celanese Corporation (CE - Analyst Report) and Methanex Corporation (MEOH - Analyst Report). Shin-Etsu Chemical and Methanex retain a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), whereas Celanese is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.

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