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.
Reuters
— 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

Diplomats Work to Extend Israeli-Palestinian Cease-Fire

US Secretary of State John Kerry, diplomats from France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Qatar gathered in Paris Saturday to discuss crisis More

Photogallery US Defense Department Warns of Arms to Eastern Ukraine

‘Imminent’ delivery of Russian rocket launcher poses threat to civilians, US says More

Video Researchers: Africa Genetically Modified Crops Held Back by Scaremongering

GM crops offer best hope of increasing productivity and coping with climate change in Africa, according to co-author of Chatham House report More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.