Oct. 14, 2014
Monsanto, the world's biggest seed company, hardly stands out among thousands of competitors in China.
"Our current market share is small" in corn, said Yong Gao, director of Asia corporate affairs for the St. Louis company.
An expanded partnership is designed to change that. In January, Monsanto created a new joint venture with China National Seed Group Co., which it has worked with since 2001. The new company, called China Seed International Seed Corp., includes a joint breeding program to speed development of new varieties for different regions of the country.
Monsanto now sells corn seed under the DeKalb name in China, but the new joint venture hasn't decided whether to use the same brand, Gao said.
In the United States, Monsanto and DuPont Pioneer are neck and neck, together taking up 70 percent of the corn market, according to industry statistics. Both companies have major breeding centers and other operations in Iowa.
No company dominates the corn seed business in China. About 7,500 Chinese firms comprise 82 percent of sales, according to data by German seed firm KWS. Pioneer has 12 percent of the market, and Monsanto and Syngenta each have 1 percent.
Monsanto has a bigger business in the Chinese vegetable market, selling seeds for tomato, spinach, pepper, melon and other varieties, Gao said.