February 21, 2019 / 1:42 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-DowDuPont's agricultural unit expects capex of $650 mln this year

(Adds details of agricultural unit's forecast)

Feb 21 (Reuters) - Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture unit DowDuPont Inc will spin off later this year, said on Thursday it expects capital expenditures of about $650 million in 2019.

Corteva, which is expected to become a standalone company by June, said total sales for 2019 will be flat weighed by a weaker euro and Brazilian real, higher crop inventories and fluctuating commodity prices.

In the run up to becoming a standalone company, Corteva is also gearing up to broadly sell farmers in North America and Brazil a new type of genetically modified soybean for planting next year in a challenge to rival Bayer AG.

Corteva said its Enlist E3 soybeans, which can resist three herbicides, will be offered in Brazil, Canada and the United States with commercial sales to begin in 2019.

Beyond 2019, Corteva is targeting net annual sales growth of 3 percent to 5 percent in the mid-term, the unit said in a statement.

Corteva expects full-year operating earnings before interest, depreciation, tax and amortization (EBIDTA) this year to grow about 4 percent to $2.8 billion.

The unit expects to pay an annual dividend in the range of 25 percent to 35 percent, or about $400 million per year, after separating from DowDuPont. (Reporting by Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)

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