Pesticide and seed producer Bayer said on Monday a supplier of an ingredient for its widely used herbicide glyphosate has run into technical problems which may hamper Bayer’s output of the product in the short term.
The “mechanical failure” at Bayer’s supplier comes in addition to a tight supply situation in global crop chemical markets, in part due to the global pandemic, Bayer added.
“Our supplier is on track to restore production, (and) we’ve sourced additional materials and made other mitigation efforts to help best manage this situation,” the company said in a statement.
A Bayer spokesperson declined to disclose the name of the supplier or the ingredient in question, and would not comment further on any impact on deliveries to customers.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Bayer brands such as Roundup and RangerPro. It has been at the centre of mass litigation here in the United States brought mostly by residential gardeners claiming the weedkiller caused their cancer.
Bayer, which has settled close to 100,000 cases for billions of dollars, has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for legal relief, building its case mainly on repeated safety clearances given by the federal environmental regulator.
In a letter on Friday seen by Reuters, Bayer alerted industrial customers using glyphosate to the supply issue, declaring force majeure, which typically suspends a supplier’s contractual liabilities in the wake of disruptions beyond its control.
In the letter, Bayer said repairs at its supplier would take about three months.
The spokesperson said the manufacturing issue would also affect in-house production of its own glyphosate-containing brands such as Roundup.