U.S. Planting Seed Trade
General Trade Summary
Image: U.S. Planting Seed Exports by
Image: U.S. Planting Seed Imports by Group
U.S. planting seed exports during July 1997, the first month of the 1997/98 Marketing Year (MY) totaled 68,697 metric tons valued at $43.8 million, declines of 4 and 11 percent, respectively, over July 1996. Imports for the month totaled 7,226 tons (9 percent below a year ago) valued at $22.3 million (2 percent above last year).
Despite substantial declines in both volume and value, Mexico continued as the best export market for planting seeds in July, taking 3,778 tons valued at $9.9 million, down 93 and 55 percent, respectively, from a year earlier. Mexico accounted for 5 percent of total volume and 22 percent of total value shipped during July.
Two of the top five markets have never reached the top 15 before: Egypt and Morocco. Together, Egypt and Morocco accounted for 76 percent of total volume and 19 percent of total value.
The export data show only 55 tons of seeds other than wheat seed valued at $443,279 were shipped to Egypt in July. The unit value for those 55 tons exceeds $8.00 per kilogram while the unit value for the wheat seed portion is only $0.17 per kilogram; roughly half the usual unit value for wheat seed.
In the Morocco case, 60 tons valued at $46,641 were not wheat seed. The wheat seed was valued at $0.12 per kilogram, well below the usual value.
Canada led suppliers of planting seeds to the United States in July, shipping 4,895 tons, valued at $3.7 million, increases of 25 and 37 percent, respectively. The only surprises among the top five suppliers were Mexico rising to the second spot from somewhere in the second five and China falling out of the top five.
A recent report from the Agricultural Minister-Counselor in Beijing, China indicates that a new regulation, titled "Circular on Regulations for Approval and Registration of Establishment of Foreign Invested Agricultural Plant Seed Enterprises," went into effect on September 15, 1997. The regulation requires that seed sold by foreign companies must be handled by approved joint ventures or cooperative companies. Wholly owned subsidiaries for foreign companies is prohibited. Controlling interest must be held by the Chinese partner. In addition, if the company deals in grains, oilseeds and cotton the joint venture must be approved by the provincial and central Governments and the U.S. company must invest at least $2.0 million. New companies dealing in all other seeds must be approved at the Provincial level with a minimum investment by the U.S. partner of $500,000. This regulation places greater limits on foreign investment than previously expected by industry and trading partners.
U.S. Planting Seed Export Highlights
U.S. Planting Seed Import Highlights