Tags: China Quarantine Bureau Rejects US Corn Cargo

China Quarantine Bureau Rejects US Corn Cargo

Tuesday, 02 Nov 2010 08:35 AM

China has rejected a cargo of U.S. corn after finding it contained an unsanctioned genetically modified strain, two sources familiar with the situation said Friday.

"China only allows 11 varieties of GM corn to be imported to the country, and the cargo was found with GM material outside the 11 varieties," said one source, who declined to be identified.

"The animal and plant quarantine department has barred it from entering China," the source said. He said it was supplied by a Japanese trading house.

The cargo of 50,000 tons to 60,000 tons was shipped in September to a port in China's southern province of Guangdong. The problem was not detected until October, the same source said.

If confirmed, this would be China's first-ever rejection of a U.S. corn cargo, and it could deepen a trade spat with the United States and a bigger diplomatic row with Japan.

The U.S. Agriculture Department and the office of the U.S. Trade Representative said they were looking into the report and had no immediate comments.

Chinese quarantine officials at Shenzhen in Guangdong, which accounted for half of the 513,000 tons of corn imported by China last month, declined to comment.

"If we have any information there will be an official announcement," said an official at the local quarantine bureau.

A third corn trading source said he had heard one Japanese cargo was "in trouble" in the south of China. But he could not confirm it had been rejected.

The rejection was widely discussed by U.S. grain traders, but had little impact on U.S. corn futures, which traded narrowly mixed on Friday.

"If they would have rejected four or five cargoes it may have been something to worry about," said Paul Haugens, vice president for brokerage Newedge USA.

U.S. traders said Chinese quarantine authorities have already approved for import all other U.S. corn cargoes that have arrived in China to date. The rejected cargo was believed to be among the last of China's some 20 to 25 U.S. cargoes purchased this summer.

China in April resumed U.S. corn imports for the first time in four years and have since booked nearly 1.5 million tons in purchases, all of which has been shipped.

Chinese corn imports are expected to continue growing next year after China's own harvest couldn't keep up with a boom in demand, mainly driven by production of corn-based animal feed.

China has long used its tough rules on GMOs to keep U.S. corn out of its market, the world's second biggest. But, struggling to keep up with demand, it gave its first safety approval to a GMO strain of corn late last year and began importing again this year, the vast majority of it from the United States.

Chinese relations with Japan have soured in recent months following the detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain by the Japanese coast guard after their boats collided near disputed islands in the East China Sea.

The two countries' foreign ministers met on Friday in a "very good atmosphere," according to Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara.

But China told Japan on Friday it cannot hold bilateral talks between Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan at an Asian summit in Hanoi, a senior Japanese official said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will also visit China on Saturday, stopping over on Hainan Island during a two-week Asia-Pacific trip to meet Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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China has rejected a cargo of U.S. corn after finding it contained an unsanctioned genetically modified strain, two sources familiar with the situation said Friday. China only allows 11 varieties of GM corn to be imported to the country, and the cargo was found with GM...
China Quarantine Bureau Rejects US Corn Cargo
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2010-35-02
Tuesday, 02 Nov 2010 08:35 AM
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