China May Delay U.S. Corn Buying as Cargo Held, Shanghai JC Says
By Bloomberg News
Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) — Corn shipments to China from the
U.S. may be delayed after authorities in southern Guangdong
province this month rejected and held a cargo containing an
unapproved variety, Shanghai JC Intelligence Co. said.
Domestic buyers and global suppliers may refrain from
signing agreements because they don’t know whether the
government will stop more cargoes, said Li Qiang, chairman of
the Shanghai-based researcher.
Inspectors at Shekou port rejected a 60,000-metric-ton
shipment of U.S. corn containing the MIR 162 variety developed
by Syngenta AG, which hasn’t been approved by the Ministry of
Agriculture, China National Grain & Oils Information Center said
on Nov. 20. Delaying purchases may hurt corn prices in Chicago,
which traded near a three-year low after U.S. farmers gathered a
“Few traders will want to risk supplying something that
cannot be guaranteed to pass inspections,” Li said by phone.
“While this doesn’t look like a concerted effort to curb
imports, people will wait until they see the outcome.”
Corn for March delivery rose 0.1 percent to $4.25 a bushel
on the Chicago Board of Trade. On the Dalian Commodity Exchange,
the contract for May settled at 2,365 yuan a ton, or $9.86 per
bushel, more than twice the cost of U.S. corn.
Li wasn’t able to comment on whether the corn held at the
port would be shipped out of the country. The company that
bought the grain, state-owned COFCO Corp., may try to lobby the
government to negotiate a settlement, he said.
A faxed request for comment to the General Administration
of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, wasn’t
answered. Yin Jianhao, a spokesman at COFCO, couldn’t be reached
on his mobile telephone.
China will want more U.S. corn sooner or later, given its
large discount to the domestic crop, Li said.
Shanghai JC maintained its import projection of 6.6 million
tons in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, he said. The U.S.
Department of Agriculture projected 7 million tons on Nov. 9.