July-September 1997 Highlights
Image: Top U.S.
Planting Seed Export Markets
Image: Top U.S. Planting Seed Exports by Kind
Image: Top U.S. Planting Seed Imports by Kind
General Trade Summary
U.S. planting seed exports during July-September 1997 totaled 184,593 metric tons valued at $170.6 million, increases of 12 and 21 percent, respectively, over the same period in 1996. Imports for the period totaled 30,322 tons (10 percent below a year ago) valued at $65.5 million (6 percent above last year).
Following are excerpts from U.S. Agricultural Attache reports recently received in FAS/Washington. Copies of the complete reports may be obtained by contacting the Cotton, Oilseeds, Tobacco, and Seeds Division at the address, telephone or Fax number listed on the back cover.
South Africa (Report number SF7039): The South African seed market was valued at $153 million in 1996. Of that, nearly 80 percent was domestically produced and marketed and 11 percent exported while 7 percent was imported. Imports from the United States reached nearly $6 million or about 51 percent of total imports. The U.S. seed industry is well known in South Africa. Some U.S. firms have already established subsidiaries in South Africa and others are planning to do so.
South Korea (Report number KS7072): Market opportunities for U.S. planting seed are best for vegetable and flower seeds although growth in market share will be difficult at best. Korea is experiencing growth in the horticultural production sector which translates into increased opportunities. However, imports comprise only 10 percent of the vegetable and flower seed market and it is dominated by Japan. Thus, while U.S. export sales of vegetable and flower seed may increase, improving on the current 20 percent market share may be exceedingly difficult.
The Seed Industry Act, passed in 1996, is scheduled to go into effect on December 31, 1997 although the necessary enacting Presidential and Ministerial decrees have not been issued as of mid-November. The act accomplishes several things: it combines all previous seed laws into one; it establishes plant breeders rights with protection for 20 years; it establishes a National Certified Seed List; it liberalizes production of major staple crop seeds, allowing private sector production; it establishes a national seed certification system; and, it liberalizes imports of all planting seeds except for seeds of the five major staple crops.
Hungary (Report number HU7022): U.S. seed varieties have developed an excellent reputation in Hungarian agriculture. Hungarian corn production has been dominated by American varieties for many years. However, much potential remains for U.S. varieties in the oilseed, forage and horticulture sectors. In particular, opportunities exist for U.S. freeze tolerant alfalfa varieties as Western European varieties do not appear to be hardy enough for Hungarian winters.
China (Report number CH7053): Currently, the outlook for U.S. and other foreign seed sales to China is guardedly good. There is no doubt that Chinese agricultural experts are looking to U.S. companies for answers to improve crop yields. The main problem now is one of contradictions within China. Part Chinas growing pains seem to be in finding a balance between the old state companies and free enterprise as illustrated by the active recruitment of high-tech germplasm from western companies and the new regulations which severely limit the activities of foreign companies operating within China.
The following trade inquiries were recently submitted by a U.S. agricultural office for publication as a "Trade Lead." For more information about Trade Leads call 202-690-3416.
Seeds for Sowing, soybean [1201.00.00.20(0)]-Hong Kong (HK). QUANTITY: 100,000 MT. QUALITY: USA # 2. DELIVERY: December, 1997 - January, 1998. PACKAGING: In bulk. OTHER: . QUOTE: C&F to main port of China. BANK: Chang Hwa Commercial Bank Limited, Hong Kong Branch. CONTACT: Mr. Kwok Tsim TSUI, Hong Kong Mutual Group Co. Ltd., Room 1514, 15/F., Argyle Center, Phase 1, No. 688 Nathan Road, Mongkok, Kowloon, Hong Kong Phone: (852) 2395-3999 FAX: (852) 2305-3362. [Ref Num: 19971126-0127-Hong Kong(HK1)]
SEEDS FOR SOWING, GRASS SEED MIX (FOR SOCCER FIELD) [1209.21.00.00(0)]-Saudi Arabia (SA). QUANTITY: minimum container. QUALITY: to be determined but must contain bermuda 40%, fescue k-31 37%, manhattan rye 23%. DELIVERY: December, 1997. PACKAGING: to be determined. OTHER: must come from crop year 1997; minimum germination of 90-95%; pertinent certifications among them for viability period & freedom from seed-borne diseases; must meet Saudi Ministry of Agriculture requirements. QUOTE: C&F. BANK: National Commercial Bank, Po Box 3555, Jeddah 21481, Saudi Arabia. CONTACT: Tarek Al Zuhhaibi, Afnan Business & Trading Co. Ltd., Po Box 2615, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 21461. Phone: 966-2-660-4539 FAX: 966-2-665-8870. [Ref Num: 19971123-0182-Riyadh(SA2)]
For more information contact the author, Loyd Coonrod, of the Cotton, Oilseeds, Tobacco and Seeds Division at 202-720-9491.