General Trade Summary
July 1997-May 1998 Highlights
The U.S. Customs Service recently revised U.S. export statistics for planting seeds occurring over the past three years. The revised field crop seed exports for marketing years 1995/96 and 1996/97 were reduced by about 36 percent and 72 percent, respectively. Through May of marketing year 1997/98, revised field crop exports are about 40-percent lower than originally reported.
The revisions primarily affect export data for field crop seeds, most notably soybean and non-durum wheat seeds. Through May of this marketing year, soybean seed exports were revised downward to 82,803 metric tons from 156,699 metric tons. Non-durum wheat seed exports were reduced to 45,108 metric tons from about 225,180 metric tons.
The revised trade statistics significantly lowered U.S. seed exports to Mexico, Canada, Japan, and Egypt. The U.S. Customs Service is reporting that Mexico imported 110,391 metric tons of U.S. seed through May of marketing year 1997/98, down from 184,256 metric tons, as originally reported. Canadas import of U.S. seed is down to 58,595 metric tons from 80,635 metric tons. U.S. seed exports to Japan were revised downward to 46,945 metric tons from 85,545 metric tons. Exports of U.S. seed to Egypt is now 30,037 metric tons, revised downward from 138,884 metric tons. Total U.S. seed exports to these countries for marketing years 1995/96 and 1996/97 were also revised downward by 16 percent and 38 percent, respectively.
Following is an excerpt from the U.S. Agricultural Attache report from Canada received in FAS/Washington. A copy of the complete report may be found on the FAS homepage at www.fas.usda.gov .
Canada (Report number CA8010): The United States is the dominant foreign supplier of planting seeds to Canada. U.S. seed exports to Canada are generally 14 times greater than the Netherlands, the closest foreign competitor to the United States. Domestic seed is the main competitor to U.S. seed in Canada
Domestic producers of planting seed in Canada range from farmers supplying common seed to large multinationals offering a full line of pedigreed seed. The Canadian Seed Growers Association (CSGA) represents Canadas 4,700 seed producers, and acts as the national seed certifying agency. The CSGA supports seed-related research, lobbies the government on behalf of its membership, and organizes seed shows and promotions.
However, given the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), as incorporated into the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), many seed companies view the United States and Canada as a single market.
Under CFTA/NAFTA, Canada eliminated tariffs on imports of U.S. planting seeds. With Canadas elimination of freight subsidies and most other support programs for grains and oilseeds, cropping patterns as a whole are more flexible and responsive to market conditions. Relative crop prices and rotation consideration will be major factors shaping demand for field crop seeds. For instance, the projected expansion in livestock production is expected to generate higher demand for feed grains.
Canada prohibits access to seed imports that do not conform to standards prescribed in the Canadian Seed Regulations. Exporters planning to market seed in Canada should refer directly to the regulations which provide information on seed grading, certification, labeling, packaging and registration. The Seed Regulations can be found on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency homepage at: http://www.cfia-acia.agr.ca/english/actsregs/seeds/seedre.html .
For more information on U.S. Planting Seed Trade you may contact Mark Rasmussen at (202) 720-9497