ASIAN SEED • 10 Southern Seed Surplus There are some interesting seed trade trends to highlight in Australia, which is a key APSA member country, and a leading producer, exporter and importer of various types of sowing seed. Before we jump into the data, let’s recap some important developments in seed Down Under. Australia seed industry stakeholders are anticipating a number of developments on the national agenda. Namely, the Australian government is in the process of reviewing import conditions for seeds for a number of crop families: Apiaceae, Solanaceae, Brassica and Cucurbit. The first draft Pest Risk Analysis (for Apiaceae) was released late last year for public comment. Also, the Australian Biosecurity Plant Division released a draft review of import conditions for cucurbitaceous crop seeds, which will affect trade of various types of cucurbit crops, including cucumber, melon, pumpkin and zucchini. The draft is expected to be finalized early this year, and is the first of several PRAs lined up for review in the coming year. Now on to the numbers! 96k Tonnes/Year No less than 160,440 tonnes of sowing seed worth US$222 million moved across Australian borders during a recent 20-month period. That equates to an average of about 8,000 tonnes of seed per month, or 96,000 t / year, making the seed market worth at least US$133mn/ year. The types of sowing seed logged and analyzed include field crops (maize, rough paddy, soya bean, sugar beet, barley, cotton, groundnut, millet, oats, seed potato, sorghum and wheat); forage (alfalfa, clover, fescue, ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass); and various types of herbaceous flowering plants, fruits, spores and vegetables. During the focus period, Australia had a 42-million- dollar seed trade surplus, calculated from $232mn in exports against $190mn in imports. Exports accounted for 132,735 t of seed, while 27,705 t was imported. The average value of Australia traders move US$222mn worth of seed in 20 months imported seed was $6,862/t, in stark contrast to exported seed, worth just $1,754/t. Outbound Most types of Australian field crop seed were exported at values well below the mean. For example, meslin wheat seed traded at an average $224/t; cotton $317; maize $333; sorghum $490; paddy $727; millet $728; oat $838 and seed potato $874. Notable field crop seed exceptions that traded at above-average rates include sugar beet and barley. A total of 38 tonnes of the former was exported at the average rate of $8,198/t, while 29 t of the latter was exported at the rate of an astonishing $156,000/t. Top importers of Australian barley seed were Vietnam, China, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Chinese Taipei. Traded at an even higher premium than barley,