Mitsui to buy 30.4% stake in China’s vegetable seed firm Hunan Xiangyan

15, Jun. 2020

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

TOKYO, NNA – Major Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co. has agreed to acquire a 30.4 percent stake in China’s Hunan Xiangyan Seed Industry Co., to develop and sell high-quality vegetable seeds in China and also market Xiangyan’s pepper seeds in Asia.

The investment amount is anywhere between 1 to 2 billion yen ($9.3 – 18.6 million). Hunan Xiangyan holds the largest market share in China as a pepper seed breeder; a Mitsui spokesman told NNA Monday.

Hunan Xiangyan Seed Industry is the founding body of China’s biggest seed company Yuan Longping High-Tech Agriculture Co., with which Mitsui has already been collaborating to promote product development for four years, the Japanese company said in a press release Friday last week.

Through the investment, Mitsui plans to pursue China-based development and sales of value-added vegetable seeds, including cabbage, cucumber and pepper. Mitsui also intends to work with its subsidiary Japan Vegetable Seed Co. to use its sales network to develop and market Xiangyan’s pepper seeds in the Asian market.

“China accounts for more than 50 percent of total vegetable production worldwide, making it the most important market in the industry,” Mitsui said in the release.

Mitsui has been pushing for increased seed business. In 2017, the company bought Israel-based Top Seeds 2010, which became Top Seeds International Ltd. after the Mitsui’s acquisition.

Top Seeds, which specializes in research, production and marketing of high-quality hybrid vegetable varieties, was the first acquisition Mitsui had made in the vegetable seed business, according to the Top Seeds website.

In 2018, Japan Vegetable Seed was established by Mitsui and Japanese seed firms to develop new vegetable varieties and export Japan-produced products.

Xiangyan's facility where vegetable seed variety developments are carried out (Photo courtesy of Mitsui & Co.)
Xiangyan's facility where vegetable seed variety developments are carried out (Photo courtesy of Mitsui & Co.)