Monday, December 17th 2012 - 06:20 UTC

China quarantines Argentine corn because of unapproved genetically modified strains

Chinese authorities quarantined two containers holding corn from Argentina, after detecting genetically modified strains that had not been approved beforehand, alleged the Chinese buyer.

A tight year ahead for corn because of the poor US harvest

China imported 4.56 million tons of corn in first 10 months of 2012, with 99% coming from the US, the largest corn exporter in the world.

An unidentified Chinese government official said they had bought the small volume as a test, and as of yet imports coming from Argentina have not been successful.

Chinese corn imports are expected fall by more than half next year due to high US prices, and a rise in overall consumption will put domestic supplies under more pressure despite another record harvest, according to an official forecast on Wednesday.

The China National Grain and Oils Information Centre (CNGOIC) said imports by the world's second largest corn consuming nation are expected to fall to 2.4 million tons in the 12 months ending in September 2013, down 54% on the year, after a drought-driven price surge caused a halt in purchases from the United States.

Meanwhile, consumption was expected to rise 9.6% to 205.6 million tons as a result of an expansion in hog herds. China's domestic corn harvest rose 8% this year to a record 208.13 million tons.

CNGOIC said China was unlikely to import any corn at all until April 2013, depending on domestic and overseas prices.

The worst drought in decades in the United States, the world's top exporter, has driven up US corn prices, which are around 4% higher than domestic corn prices quoted in the southern city of Shenzhen.

Domestic corn prices weakened after the record harvest, and corn processors have kept production relatively low as a result of poor sales of downstream products such as starch and alcohol.

China has imported corn from Argentina and Ukraine on a trial basis during the year, CNGOIC said. A Chinese feed mill in the northern province of Shandong has bought 48 tons of Argentina corn.

20 comments Feed

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1 ElaineB (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 10:33 am Report abuse
Um, not good news for the Argentine government wanting to export to China. Or anywhere.
2 Britworker (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 10:56 am Report abuse
Yes, about 12 months ago all you could hear from the Argies was how China was going to be their great saviour. Doesn't sound anymore like it's panning out that way. Like most Argentine plans!
3 Teaboy2 (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 12:00 pm Report abuse
Genetically modified strain, well we also knew their was something different about Argentinian's, now we know what caused it lol :-)
4 Pete Bog (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 02:06 pm Report abuse
Don't worry they will make a complaint to the UN if China don't buy it.
5 reality check (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 02:38 pm Report abuse
Nah, they'll take it to the International Tribunal of the Seed!
6 ChrisR (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 03:35 pm Report abuse

Very, very, funny! ;o)

Still it shows that either AG did not know or (more likely) LIED about it.

Can't change the colour of their spots for anything these argies, must be the corn they are eating.
7 Drifter (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 04:22 pm Report abuse
Hey, we are not all that bad.... Still, do I see here an opportunity for NON GMO producers in Agrentina to step up?
8 GFace (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 05:40 pm Report abuse
Zounds, what gives? Not enough melamine? I find this darkly ironic.
9 Pirat-Hunter (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 06:21 pm Report abuse
This is great news for Bio fuel producers in Argentina, Bio fuels don't scrutinize the corn it needs and the extra corn will bring the prices down to a country stricken by droughts this year. Something like this happened with soy last year also with China and Argentina ended up boosting Bio fuel production a few month later with EU filing a complain and blocking cheap bio-fuels made in Argentina, I think India or Pakistan bought the rest of the surplus soy at a updated pride, with the price of corn going up I am sure a new price will be welcome back in Argentina if a new contract is written. If not it will be a great year for the bio-fuel industry in Argentina.
10 Shed-time (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 06:21 pm Report abuse
Considering most argentinians were genetically modified by german scientists in 1930s, before being shipped out too the new world in U-boats, it's not unsurprising that they too would want to eat genetically modified food.
11 Optimus_Princeps (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 07:11 pm Report abuse
I did suspect that the high cancer rate in Argentina was caused by something. Perhaps this GM stuff might have something to do with it. That's why it's good to buy local from someone you trust.

Of course, Pirat-Shunter wouldn't know about that because his head's in the clouds in a far away land.
12 ProRG_American (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 07:12 pm Report abuse
Just one oversight by Chinese officials. It was known months ago that this involved a different strain than previously purchased.
This will be ironed out. Both sides are eager to do business.
Move on.
13 briton (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 08:42 pm Report abuse
Ouch they are awful,
But cha still like em, don’t cha.
14 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 09:54 pm Report abuse
#9 you are correct mr Canadian. Maybe the corn will solve argentina's energy problems. Corn is dying as a bio fuel. The world is going to cleaner grains like sorghum. USA has mandated it and other countries are following

Of course they will fix it ProRG_SAmerican
15 Teaboy2 (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 12:13 am Report abuse
@12 - oh and i suppose you just expect us to believe you just because you say its so! - Wheres your evidence to back up your claim? Reread the article “genetically modified strains that had not been approved beforehand” - Not being approved means, they did not know about this specific strain and therefore had not approved it and were not expecting it!
16 Pete Bog (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 03:42 pm Report abuse
“Both sides are eager to do business.”
And for China to take over Argentina as a colony
17 Condorito (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 04:41 pm Report abuse
It is not something that has happened before, but I partially agree with ProRG on this. It looks like they got their wires crossed on the variety they were importing. China will certainly be wanting to import grain from Argentina.
18 ProRG_American (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 01:07 am Report abuse
More nonsense from MercoClarinPress. Articles in Argentine Financial news journals announces that Argentina is now exporting corn to China. Trying to deceive the public about the facts again. “MercoClarinPress Miente”.
19 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 12:53 pm Report abuse
Argentina tried slipping the Chinese the willy to see if they wold notice and got caught.
20 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 06:17 pm Report abuse
#14,18 Yes, this looks like a minor hiccup at most. And even at worst, not much compared to all the good news =)

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