U.S. corn exports to China have declined since the 2013-14 marketing year
By Diego Flammini
One of the United States’ biggest corn customers is looking elsewhere for its imports due to growing GMO regulations.
Chinese importers have canceled approximately 210,000 tonnes of U.S. corn shipments, worth about US$40 million, within the last month because end-users haven’t received their permits to process GMO crops, according to Reuters.
Instead, some traders have looked to purchase corn from the Ukraine, where farmers do not grow GMO crops.
Non-GMO corn doesn’t require a processing permit, making the Ukrainian crop more attractive, according to a Chinese corn trader.
“It is hard for U.S. corn to come in now due to the GMO issue. Getting the GMO processing permit is very difficult,” the trader, who canceled a U.S. corn shipment and declined to be identified, told Reuters on Friday. “I had only ordered 7,000 tonnes of U.S., corn, but had to cancel the order and turned to Ukraine.”
The Chinese GMO import law also applies to other crops.
Importers found to be in violation of the law will be faced with fines of up to US$33,000 and other penalties, according to the Law Library of Congress.
“The (Agricultural GMO Regulation Scheme) will cover all major agricultural products including soybean, corn and wheat. Non-compliance with the regulation will likely cause suspension of activities as well as penalties,” the regulation says, according to a Jan. 26 article from agriCENSUS.
U.S. corn exports to China have declined since the 2013-14 marketing year.
More than 2.7 million metric tonnes of American corn arrived in China that year. That number dropped to 747,000 metric tonnes in 2014-15, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.
U.S. corn exports fell again from 321,000 metric tonnes in 2015-16 to 262,000 tonnes in 2015-16. And from September 2016 to April 2017, China imported only 32,000 metric tonnes of American corn.