Inner Mongolia Ding Ye Foodstuff Co Ltd, one of the China's biggest sunflowerseed exporters, is planning to invest more than 500M yuan (US$73.8M) to build 20 new production lines in 2017, reports the China Daily.

"New lines will boost production capacity by processing 200,000 tonnes/year of seeds, almost four times the current capacity," said chairman Nie Changcheng.

The production lines were part of a push to go global, along with plans to establish overseas offices, the China Daily said.

Ding Ye 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.

The Bayannur city-based company in western Inner Mongolia was set up in 2013 and processes sunflower, pumpkin and calabash seeds, with exports mainly to the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Nie said the average export price of sunflowerseeds fell about 1,000 yuan/tonne to 7,500 yuan/tonne in October 2016, compared with the previous month but the price impact was manageable.

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, according to the China Daily.