SOURCE: Yasheng Group

June 02, 2011 08:00 ET

Yasheng Group to Increase Annual Investment in Corn Seed Research & Development by $2.3 Million and Increase Cooperation With International Seed Experts and Research Institutions

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwire - Jun 2, 2011) - Yasheng Group (PINKSHEETS: YHGG) (OTCQB: YHGG) (XETRA: YSF.DE), a high-growth diversified China-based agricultural conglomerate with US headquarters in California, today announced plans to increase investments in the R&D of hybrid corn seed to address challenges and growth opportunities in China's corn seed market by improving crop yields and other beneficial characteristics.

High Quality Seed is the most important production material at the upper reaches of the agricultural production chain. China's seed market is the second largest in the world after the US. As a major raw material of food, chemicals, fuel, animal feed, and medicine industries, corn plays a significant role in China's food security system, and the seed is the foundation of the industry supply chain. In 2010, China's corn imports increased 17.6 times over the previous year to 1.57 million tons, according to data from the PRC General Administration of Customs. It is expected that China's demand for corn will continue to surge in the future, primarily due to the increasing amount of corn feed consumption by animals, in addition to other demands as the economy continues to expand. China's market capacity has a huge potential for growth, attracting many foreign seed companies that have gradually gained some market share. The global corn seed market has seen considerable growth in recent years due to China's demand and the effects on global corn seed prices.

In the face of these competitive pressures and the opportunity for further expansion, the Board of Directors of Yasheng Group has approved an investment of an additional $2.3 million a year for R&D and a comprehensive breeding program in continuing to develop their current corn seed. The company also plans to hire and cooperate with international seed experts and foreign research institutions to support the R&D effort and expand the company's knowledge base. In addition, Yasheng is considering merging with and acquiring domestic and overseas seed companies to strengthen its research, production and distribution capabilities.

Chairman Zhou Chang Sheng stated, "There is no doubt corn plays a major role in China's and the world's food and other key industries. We believe it offers a great market opportunity for our company that will position us as a long-term major player with competitive prices and quality in comparison to the major international seed companies. Our planned increase in corn seed Research & Development investment with international partnerships, and boosting of corn seed productivity and quality, will set the stage to capture a large market share of both China's and the world's corn seed market.

Yasheng Group

Yasheng Group (OTCQB: YHGG) (www.yashenggroup.com), founded over 30 years ago, is a US holding company that conducts primarily agricultural operations in the Northwest of China. Today it is one of China's leading producers and marketers with six major product segments including field crops, vegetables, fruit, specialty crops, hops, hemp, seeds, beef and poultry. Yasheng is a supplier of high-quality agricultural products to world-famous conglomerates such as McDonald's, KFC, Tsingtao Beer, and Pepsi. The company is led by a highly qualified management team and it has total assets of approximately $1.9 billion including over 250,000 acres of arable land that are utilized for grazing, cultivation, and reclamation, of which 50,000 acres are under cultivation using the latest scientific technologies to produce a wide variety of agricultural products. Yasheng has over 15,000 employees, and a history of strong sales and earnings growth.

Safe Harbor Statement

Except for the historical information contained herein, certain matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements which involve risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are based on expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties are discussed in the company's various filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

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