Syngenta, the crop chemicals manufacturer, has seen fungicide sales growth in Europe in the first quarter of 2015, the company says.

The Basel-based company, has also reported that European, African and Middle Eastern sales have grown 15% in the first quarter, despite overall sales in the company being 14% lower than the same time last year.

It says that there has been strong growth in crop protection in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, offsetting weakness in seeds due to lower acreage for corn, sunflower and sugar beet in several territories, Syngenta says.

Central and North Europe and Iberia showed broad based growth in crop protection. In France, sales of selective herbicides were lower, reflecting early orders in the fourth quarter of 2014, it says.

First quarter product line sales of selective herbicides volume was slightly lower compared to 2014 and fungicides saw a volume increases in most European territories, Syngenta says.

The Basel-based company said its overall sales decrease has reflected the strength of the dollar against the euro and most other currencies, particularly in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) (CIS are former Soviet Union countries).

Syngenta said that in North America sales suffered a 16% decrease, this it says, is partly due to a prolonged winter which delayed the start of the season in the USA.

It also says that by excluding glyphosate sales, which is going through a deliberate reduction, sales in North America were 13% lower.

The company has over 29,000 employees in over 90 countries.