Inner Mongolia Ding Ye Foodstuff Co Ltd, one of the country's biggest sunflower seed exporters, said it is speeding up its push to go global with the launch of new production lines at home and plans to establish overseas offices in the next two years.
The Bayannur-based private company, established in 2013, processes sunflower, pumpkin and calabash seeds and mainly exports to the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Its chairman said it plans to invest more than 500 million yuan ($73.8 million) to build 20 new production lines in 2017.
"New lines will boost production capacity by processing 200,000 metric tons of seeds a year, almost four times its current capacity," said Chairman Nie Changcheng.
Pinning high hopes on growing demand from overseas, the company said it would establish two offices in Germany and Spain in 2018, in addition to the three existing ones in Dubai, Iran and Egypt.
Nie said he was also considering a new factory in Iran by the end of 2018.
"It's not an easy task for Inner Mongolian food exporters to expand their presence abroad," said Yu Guangjun, a research fellow at the Inner Mongolia Academy of Social Sciences.
Yu said that most important of all, food exporters should deliver quality agricultural products in accordance with international trade rules.
"Food companies need to enhance the competitiveness of agricultural products through industrial upgrades and technological innovation. Only in this way can they secure overseas markets," said Wang Ji, an analyst at China-Inv Co-Harmony Investment Fund Management Co Ltd.
The average export price of sunflower seeds, according to Nie, fell about 1,000 yuan per ton to 7,500 yuan in October, compared with the previous month.
"But the effect is manageable," Nie said.
To maintain its earning growth, Ding Ye said it had made efforts to encourage famers to plant in scientific ways－and to upgrade their equipment -- so the seeds could be of high quality.