Japan to resume imports of U.S. western white wheat -farm minister

TOKYO, July 30 Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:49pm EDT

TOKYO, July 30 (Reuters) - Japan will resume buying U.S. western white wheat, the nation's farm minister said on Tuesday, after halting imports of the grade following the discovery of a genetically modified strain in an Oregon field earlier this year.

Yoshimasa Hayashi, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, told reporters at a weekly media briefing that the government would include western white in a regular tender for wheat imports on Thursday.

Industry sources had said Japan could resume buying the grade as early as this week after adopting stricter measures designed to detect GM strains of the grain used for confectionary flour.

Japan, which imports around 800,000 tonnes of western white annually, joins South Korea and other big buyers in restarting purchases of the grade.

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