Commercial seeds are the seeds sown for production of an intended crop or used as animal feed or industrial raw material. The increasing global population is escalating the demand for commercial seeds. As commercial seeds yield higher output, the declining global arable land due to rapid urbanization acts as a driver for the demand of commercial seeds . However, factors restraining the global commercial seeds market include hue and cry amongst the common masses in the developed countries against the production of genetically modified crops as they believe it affects the human health due to their altered genes.
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Based on type, commercial seeds can be classified as conventional seeds and genetically modified seeds. The conventional seeds include corn, soybean, vegetable, cereals, cotton, rice and canola. The major genetically modified seeds include soybean, corn, cotton and canola. Based on ownership, commercial seeds are segmented into proprietary and non-proprietary seeds. Proprietary seeds are sold under the company’s brand name, whereas the non-proprietary seeds are bought and sold by the plant breeders. Proprietary seeds held a share of about 85% in 2013 in the global commercial seeds market.
Conventional seeds held the largest share of commercial seeds market in 2013, where corn dominated the sales followed by soybean and vegetable. Corn is also expected to account for the largest share during the forecasted period (2014-2020), while cotton may replace soybean for the second place. The genetically modified seeds market is expected to witness a growth rate of over 10% during 2014-2020. They have larger shelf life and high pest resistivity as compared to the conventional seeds. Among genetically modified seeds, soybean held the largest share in 2013, which is mainly due to its high demand from the biofuel industry. Commercial seeds are also used in Oleochemicals industry which is growing at a CAGR of about 6%. Genetically modified seeds market is also increasing due to increasing demand from the livestock sector where it is used as animal feeds. About 71 million tons of genetically modified corn grains and 77 million tons of soybean feeds made from genetically modified soybean are fed to livestock each year.
Among the regions, North America dominates global sales followed by Asia Pacific and Europe. However Asia Pacific is expected to become market leader by 2020. Asia Pacific and Latin America are expected to witness high growth rates during the forecasted period.
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The global commercial seeds market is highly consolidated, where the top three players account for over 50% market share. The global commercial seeds market has seen many mergers and acquisitions in the recent past. For instance, in 2009, Dow AgroSciences entered into the top ten lists of global commercial seeds companies after a number of acquisitions including acquisition of Canada’s Hyland Seeds, Austria’s MTI and United States’ Pfister Seeds and Triumph Seed. Monsanto is the market leader in the global commercial seeds market with over 25% share. The other key market players include DuPont Pioneer, Syngenta International, Vilmorin & Cie SA, KWA SAAT AG and Bayer CropScience.