China’s popular corn varieties are going to boom in 2018 01-16-2018

In 2018, corn seeds varieties with special attitudes like pest and disease resistance or lodging- and density-tolerant will get great attention as demand is booming. Investments in foreign companies and imports are leading the knowledge to Chinese labs to improve domestic outdated practices.


According to market intelligence firm CCM, China’s corn seed industry is on the direction to improve its competitiveness in China, supported by the agricultural supply-side reform in the country. Popular varieties in the market will benefit the most in 2018, but special breeds also have a prosperous market potential to fill in some gaps in the niche markets of China’s seeds market, therefore offering high investment opportunities for companies. 

Corn varieties with special beneficial attributes will get the greatest attention in 2018. The most important attributes are hereby multi-resistant corn varieties, especially stalk and ear rot resistant types, environmental friendly corn varieties with significant resistant to pests and diseases, as well as lodging- and density-tolerant corn varieties. 

Zhengdan 958 is a good example of a multi-resistant corn variety with a huge prospect in China’s domestic market. This seed belongs to China’s largest corn varieties in the market. The patent for it expired on January 1, 2017, which boosted the attention of manufacturers and farmers. Zhengdan 958 shows multi-resistance against several conditions like high weather conditions, pests, and diseases. These characteristics grant it a key promotion place by the Ministry of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China for many years and even leads to the most planted corn variety in China. 

Jingnongke 728 is a lodging- and density-tolerant corn variety in China that is suitable for mechanised planting. According to CCM’s research, the seed will be in the focus of research and development in China 2018, as it belongs to the first approved mechanical handling corn varieties in the country. This kind of corn varieties is witnessing boosting demand, due to the fact that China’s largest corn farming area is prone to consistent rain, drought, and flood, as the occurrences in 2017 showed. 

What’s more, due to the agricultural structural reform and the connected replacement of grain crop with feed crop cultivation, the planting area of silage corns has surged in 2017 and is estimated to rise significantly further in 2018. Although general silage corns like Xianyu 335 are widely grown currently, more special varieties are being promoted and have gained acceptance from some large-scale growers and downstream poultry as well as livestock farmers. If more high-yield and high-quality silage corn varieties passed examinations and approvals, the silage corn market will be more prosperous in the future. 

China’s corn seed variety certification has witnessed a boosting number in 2017, with 171 varieties passed the national certification. In addition, 1,041 corn seed breeds were approved for regional certification.


China’s import of seeds

In order to save the food supply of its 1.4 billion population, China is not only improving domestic seed research and development but also rely on foreign knowledge and get access to the expertise by a new shopping spree of overseas agricultural and chemicals companies. After all, Chinese firms have spent about USD91 billion over the past decade purchasing nearly 300 foreign companies involved in agriculture, chemicals and food. As Chinese living standards improve and citizens demand more meat products, the country needs a growing supply of animal feed.

In addition to a low percentage of actual arable land in China, which is even decreasing slightly over the years, the country's farms also suffer from low yields due to outdated farming practices and an unproductive farm structure. Chinese farms are mostly consisting of many small-sized areas with traditional farmers working on them. It is quite the opposite of many industrial countries, where a small percentage of farmers is working on huge-size fields with new machinery and crop protection measurements. 


The latest seed purchases show China wants to lock down the scientific know-how needed to improve its domestic crop yields. After all, all countries are going to be increasingly concerned about how they can ensure they can continue to access food supplies in the event of a major harvest shortfall.

About the article

China’s seed and corn seed market is in a significant change currently, that any player in this field should be aware of. Getting regular updates on the development can be crucial to know where and when to invest.

The information for this article comes from CCM, China’s leading market intelligence provider for the fields of agriculture, chemicals, food and feed. CCM enables insights in China’s hardly transparable market with contacts to crucial domestic market players, governmental officials, and more than 17 years of market research experience.

Have a look and subscribe to CCM’s monthly China Seeds Newsletter to be ahead of the competition and know all relevant information on market trends, company dynamics, policy changes, import and export, as well as any newsworthy story.

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