Top 20 Global Seed Companies in 2017
−− The End of the Global Consolidation Wave and the New Setup of Seed Industry
Oct. 12, 2018
Since the merger of Dow Agro Sciences and DuPont Pioneer in 2015, the restructuring activities in the global seed industry have developed more depth. Merger and divestment have become a mainstream of the seed business. With the closing of the DowDuPont merger, the finalization of ChemChina’s acquisition of Syngenta in 2017. Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto on 7 June this year and BASF’s acquisition of Bayer’s seed business in August, the consolidation of the global seed market has come to an end. However, foreseeable subsequent consolidation will still go on for some time. In 2018, we will watch what are the new acquisition targets for Syngenta? What changes will the newcomer BASF and the rising Long Ping High-Tech bring to the set-up of the world seed industry? Visit our website www.agropages.com and subscribe to the AgroPages Seed E-Weekly newsletter.
By sorting out the annual report of multinationals for 2016 and 2017, AgroPages made a list of the top 20 global seed companies. They are: Two US companies – Monsanto and Corteva Agriscience (DowDuPont); 12 European companies, including two German companies – Bayer and KWS; five French Companies — Limagrain，Florimond Desprez, RAGT Semences, Euralis Semences and InVivo; one Danish company — DLF; four Dutch companies — Rijk Zwaan, Barenbrug, Enza Zaden and Bejo Zaden); three Chinese companies — Syngenta (ChemChina), Long Ping High-Tech and Beidahuang Kenfeng Seed; two Japanese companies — Sakata Seed and Takii Seed; and one Indian company — Advanta Seeds (UPL).
As regards to Syngenta, the seed business still remains the same, before the acquisition by ChemChina, because ChemChina does not have a seed business. Moreover, Syngenta could divest itself of no small amount of seed business assets owing to the impact of business restructuring and the acquisition. The company says that its future focus will be on the acquisition of high-quality seed assets. Currently, the company has acquired Nidera Seed from COFCO to enhance its market influence in Latin America. The company has also acquired the American vegetable company Abbott & Cobb to enhance its sweet corn (vegetable corn) seed business strength, which is the core business of the company. It is worth paying attention to Syngenta’s act in the years ahead, as to how it will utilize the seed market advantage of China. The writer of this article believes that Syngenta’s use of China’s seed market potential will play a key role in narrowing the gap between Syngenta and the top two.
In 2017, Long Ping High-Tech and CITIC Agriculture Fund acquired the Brazilian corn seed business of AgroSciences at a cost of $1.1 billion. With the strong capital back-up of CITIC, the company has speeded up its globalization process. Meanwhile, the company has become the largest seed company in China via the consolidation of businesses in China. The company ranks ninth among the world’s seed industry in terms of business turnover, which is the first time that a Chinese seed company is being listed in the Global Top 10. Recently, Long Ping High-Tech said it would start building new seed plants in Brazil next year to increase the production capacity beyond its current four installations. The plan is to boost its share in a market worth 15 billion real ($4.02 billion) from the current 15% to 30% in five years.
A large number of European companies show up in the newly listed top 11 to 20, which included three Dutch and four French companies. This is a reflection of the historic strength of the European seed industry, as typically being represented by the Netherlands and France. The Netherlands' leading position in vegetable seeds is well-known in the world, with three of the four companies listed in the top 20 being vegetable companies. The other one, Barenbrug, is the world’s largest turf grass seed breeding and sales company, which is beyond the field crop seed industry. The seed industry of the Netherlands sets a good example for many countries, being a good reference for other countries in the development of the seed industry.
The steady development of the French seed industry is attributed to its good climate and rich crop varieties, enabling France to take up a dominant position in the EU and even in the world. According to statistics, the French seed sales for the 2014–2015 financial year reached 3.254 billion euros, ranking first among the seed production countries in the EU. After the war, the French seed industry experienced a change from a government-guided business pattern to a commercialized business pattern, thus further being carried over to the global seed business pattern, run by multinationals since the end of the 20th century. The commercialized pattern of seed breeding has greatly enhanced the competitiveness of the French seed industry. The stress laid on science and technology, efforts made for research and development, as well as the sound legislation and the intellectual property system, respectively, provide the commercialized seed breeding industry of France technical and institutional support.
AgroPages is preparing to invite experts from the Netherlands and France to share with us their commercial success in the seed industry, as well as their experience with the change in the development pattern. Stay tuned.
Please download AgroPages' latest magazine - 2018 Seed Special to see more.
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