China: Forage and Cotton Seed Demand Rising—Foreign Investment Rules Relax

China is the world’s second largest seed market and is self-sufficient in rice, corn, wheat, cotton and soybean seed. China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) estimates that Chinese farmers annually plant about 12.5 million tons of planting seed, of which 65 percent is hybrid corn, hybrid rice, vegetable, and fruit seeds, with a total market value of about $17.8 billion in 2017. In June 2018, China loosened foreign investment rules for research and development, production, and marketing of most planting seeds except soybeans, rice, corn, and wheat, allowing foreign companies to have larger stakes in Chinese seed businesses. However, specific details related to intellectual property rights (IPR), plant variety protection (PVP), and germplasm exchange continue to hamper global investment in the Chinese seed sector. MY2018/19 imports of vegetable seeds are forecast lower as exporters relocate seed multiplication operations to China in the wake of new investment rules. MY2018/19 exports of vegetable seeds are projected slightly lower because of additional tariffs on exports to the United States.

China: Forage and Cotton Seed Demand Rising—Foreign Investment Rules Relax