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Strong Export Seed Season

Strong Export Seed Season

New Zealand seed growers enjoyed another strong export season in 2013.

Radish, carrots, ryegrass and white and red clover are just some of the high value export seed crops grown in this country every year, many of them in Canterbury, and exported to over 60 world New data sourced from Statistics New Zealand show the total value of seed exports was $192 million up $24 million or 14 per cent for the year ended December 2013, compared with the previous year.

Herbage seed (ryegrass, clover and other grasses) accounts for 53 per cent of total seed exports by value. Vegetable seed has 47 per cent share.

Australia is the biggest market for pasture seed, accounting for 16 per cent of total shipments.

Northern hemisphere markets remain hugely important for New Zealand vegetable seeds and Asian sales are steady with good growth opportunities. The Netherlands is the number 1 export market by value for carrots, radish and other vegetable seeds.

Thomas Chin, general manager of the New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association, says growers, processors and exporters have every reason to be pleased with the latest export data.

“These are high value goods helping move New Zealand agriculture beyond the traditional mix of The industry continues to work with government trade officials to regain brassica seed access to China as soon as possible, Chin says.

“Our capacity to supply the Chinese market, which has significant growth potential, has been hampered by Chinas’s ban on New Zealand brassica seed imports following the 2011 detection of blackleg, a pest which ironically is also present in China.”

Future industry growth will continue to be driven through enabling new crop types, focusing on high value speciality seed products and securing new markets.

“Recent announcements regarding trade agreements with Taiwan, continuing talks with South Korea and Columbia, and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement have all lifted the seed sector’s confidence in future growth opportunities.

“New Zealand is a world leader in seed multiplication and our strong export performance responds to and is consistent with the Government’s Business Growth Agenda and its goal to increase the ratio of exports to GDP from the current 30 per cent to 40 per cent of GDP by 2025. Going forward, seed production for overseas sale will continue to be big business for New Zealand.”


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