Some Chinese buyers have canceled corn purchases from the United States and switched to rival supplier Ukraine, as Beijing tightens controls on processing genetically modified strains of the crop, three trade sources and an analyst told Reuters.
Any prolonged shift by one of the world’s top corn importers would unnerve U.S. farmers as they prepare to harvest a bumper crop this year and could potentially mark a new front in trade tensions festering between China and the United States.
Chinese buyers late last year stepped up purchases of U.S. corn, which is mostly genetically modified, following a rally in domestic prices.
But the sources said it had become tougher for Chinese grain mills to get permits to process genetically modified corn this year, forcing some traders that supply them to instead turn to non-GMO shipments from Ukraine.
It was unclear how many shipments had been affected, but one of the sources, a senior trader in Beijing, said up to four cargoes totaling about 210,000 tonnes and worth about $40 million based on current prices had been canceled last month as end-users had not received permits to process GMO crops.
Read full, original post: China traders cancel U.S. corn cargoes on tighter GMO controls, buy from Ukraine: sources