Jul. 5, 2018
July 4th. The largest Chinese seed company, Longping High Tech Agriculture Co. would be preparing its landing in the Argentinean market in 2019, said local sources to eFarmNewsAr. It would be the second or third Chinese company in the local seed operation after COFCO acquired Nidera Semillas and then sold it to Syngenta, that is controlled by ChemChina.
The landing would complete the expansion of Longping in SouthAmerica. This year, the company announced the acquisition of former Dow AgroSciences corn unit in Brazil, paying $1,1 billion and rebranding it as LP (LongPing) Sementes Ltd.
In that country, LongPing has shown the target to grab one-third of the seed corn market, valued at $4 billion, since the 15% share of Dow AgroSciences. After corn, the next target is the soybean seed, a market caught by Monsanto.
Local sources comment that Longping hired a former country manager of a global seed company to run the operation not only in Argentina but South Cone. The question is if the Chinese company will buy a local seed company to access an initial market share or if they are thinking in some type of alliance or joint venture.
“I suppose that access to a breeding program is a key issue for any company who wants to play in the Argentinean corn market”, says a source in the seed business to eFarmNewsAr. “There are at least two or three companies with breeding programs that furthermore assures a 3% of market share”, add. One of them is a firm controlled by an investment fund that it had purposed to sell it nine years after they bought it, a deadline that was met last year.