News / Economy

China Rejects More US Corn Amid Trade Tensions

FILE - A farmer dries newly-harvested corn cobs near her field in Zhuliang village of Qingzhou, Shandong province, China, September 2013.
FILE - A farmer dries newly-harvested corn cobs near her field in Zhuliang village of Qingzhou, Shandong province, China, September 2013.
China has blocked the entry of another U.S. corn cargo, and three more may be turned away, after tests found a strain of unapproved genetically-modified [GMO] corn.

Some believe the rejection may have been prompted by other trade disputes between the two countries.

The latest cargo of 59,100 tons was denied entry on Tuesday after quarantine officials in the eastern province of Zhejiang detected MIR 162, a GMO strain not yet approved for import by the agriculture ministry, according to a quarantine official.

Since the middle of November, quarantine authorities in China, the world's second largest corn consumer, already have turned away about 180,000 tons of the grain.

“It is really causing big trouble and it seems to be related to bilateral trade conflicts,” said a corn trader with a domestic trading house.

Heavy demand

U.S. government data shows that China's appetite for corn remains strong. It was the top destination for U.S. supplies last week, which analysts say outweighs any concerns about the rejections of a few cargoes.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Monday it inspected 17.6 million bushels of corn earmarked for China last week, which made up 44 percent of the total amount of corn the government inspected.

“If they are still importing it, it makes us wonder if this is more of a political game that China is playing,” said Terry Reilly, senior commodity analyst at Futures International. “As long as China is taking U.S. corn on a weekly basis... we are not going to get bearish on this topic.”

About 2 million tons, or 78.736 million bushels, of U.S. corn is headed for China in ships, and China already has committed to buying another 3 million tons of the U.S. grain.

WTO dispute

China last month fought back against accusations by the United States that it was blocking a World Trade Organization technology deal, with Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng calling the United States “irresponsible.”

This month, China also launched a trade dispute against the United States to challenge Washington's accusations of having dumped cheap exports on the U.S. market.

Traders said another three cargoes already had tested positive for MIR 162, a GMO strain developed for insect resistance, and were expected to be turned away from ports in Guangdong and Fujian. Some are not even being unloaded, making it easier to ship them to other markets, including Japan.

“Rejections will be frequent, following large arrivals in coming weeks,” said one industry source who asked not to be identified, due to the sensitivity of the issue. “Some cargoes simply berth offshore and buyers are not unloading the cargoes before testing results are complete.”

China glut

The U.S. corn market appeared unaffected by China's rejection. Chicago Board of Trade March corn futures were up 2 cents at $4.29-1/2 a bushel late Wednesday morning. Prices have increased 4.2 percent since China's first rejection in November.

Large volumes of the rejected corn have been snapped up by importers in other Asian countries, sometimes with price cuts, said European traders.

China expects a record corn harvest this year and faces a massive glut due to weak consumption by the animal feed industry. Its corn output in 2013/14 is likely to rise 5.9 percent on the year to a record 217.7 million tons, surpassing consumption, seen at 197 million.

The country's corn consumption fell 1.1 percent from the previous year, partly due to outbreaks of bird flu early in 2013, according to the China National Grain and Oils Information Center.

You May Like

Isolation, Despair Weigh on Refugees in Remote German Camp

Refugees resettled near village of Holzdorf deep in German forestland say there is limited interaction with public, mutual feelings of distrust

Britons Divided Over Bombing IS

Surveys show Europeans generally support more military action against Islamic State militants, but sizable opposition exists in Britain

Russia Blacklists Soros Foundations as 'Undesirable'

Russian officials add Soros groups to a list of foreign and international organizations banned from giving grants to Russian partners

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies


Rates may not be current.