U.S. planting seed exports during the July-October 1996 period totaled 261,441 metric tons valued at $204.5 million, increases of 25 and 20 percent, respectively, over the same period in 1995. Imports reached 42,930 tons valued at $81.9 million.
Mexico continued to be the best export market for U.S. planting seeds, reaching 104,655 tons valued at $65.2 million. After Mexico, the top ten markets were Canada ($22.8 million), Japan ($19.4 million), Argentina ($14.5 million), Saudi Arabia ($6.8 million), Italy ($6.3 million), the Netherlands ($5.5 million), the United Kingdom ($4.6 million), Chile ($4.5 million), and Germany ($4.5 million). The top ten Markets comprise 75 percent of total U.S. planting seed exports. Already at this early stage of the marketing year (MY), 26 countries have reached the million dollar market level combining for 92 percent of total exports.
On the import side, Canada retained the top position as a source for planting seeds supplying 31,089 tons valued at $20.4 million. Rounding out the top ten suppliers were Chile, ($8.8 million), the Netherlands ($8.4 million), Mexico ($6.4 million), Japan ($5.4 million), China ($5.3 million) Australia ($2.6 million), the United Kingdom ($2.6 million), India ($2.3 million), and New Zealand ($2.3 million). These ten countries supply 79 percent of total U.S. planting seed imports.
Grass seed exports increased 32 percent in volume and 26 percent in value to 15,517 tons and $19.5 million, respectively. Annual ryegrass seed increased 8 percent in volume to 4,709 tons but declined 6 percent in value to $3.4 million, yet remained the top exported grass seed. Imports of grass seed continue to climb reaching 11,732 tons valued at $13.2 million (up 31 and 49 percent, respectively).
Exports for the other forage seed group climbed 35 percent in volume 7,659 tons and 60 percent in value to $17.2 million. Imports for the group continue to lose ground with volume and value off 24 percent and 23 percent, respectively. Alfalfa seed is setting the pace for this group with exports doubling in volume while imports were down.
Exports for the pulse seed group were up in both volume and value, 42 percent to 15,385 tons and 40 percent to $11.9 million, respectively. Imports were mixed with volume off 22 percent to 17,797 tons while value was up slightly to $9.0 million.
In the vegetable seed group, export export volume was up very slightly to 11,192 tons while declining 1 percent in value to $62.4 million. Imports increased 15 percent in volume and value to 2,418 tons and $26.1 million, respectively.
Field crop seed exports also increased at virtually the same rate for volume and value -- 25 percent -- to 210,000 tons and $73.9 million. Imports of field crop seed also increased sharply, up 46 percent in volume to 8,614 tons and 163 percent in value to $6.3 million.
(For further information on the GSM-102 program for horticultural commodities, contact Loyd Coonrod, Seed Marketing and Analysis specialist, (202)729-9491, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org