Japan buys almost 90,000 tonnes U.S. western white via tender
TOKYO, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Japan bought nearly 90,000 tonnes of U.S. western white wheat in a tender on Thursday, marking the first purchase of the variety by its top buyer after the discovery of a genetically modified (GM) version of the grain in Oregon. Purchases by Japan, the top customer of U.S. white wheat, may help further boost prices for the grade used to make confectionaries, as it joins South Korea and other big buyers in resuming imports that where halted after the GM discovery. Japan, the world's sixth-biggest wheat importer bought a total 178,212 tonnes of food wheat from the United States, Canada and Australia, an official at the Ministry of Agriculture said. The ministry included about three times more western white than it normally takes in the tender - typically issued three times a month - to replenish stocks after the halt in imports. Japan's farm minister on Tuesday said the nation would resume purchases of western white after putting safeguards in place to deal with any future findings of GM wheat. This week's tender included western white for the first time since Japan abruptly canceled its inclusion in a tender on May 30, following the revelation of the GM finding. Japan usually imports around 800,000 tonnes of the grade annually. Details of this week's tender result are as follows: COUNTRY TYPE QUANTITY U.S. Western White 35,680 tonnes Western White 23,635 tonnes Western White 30,264 tonnes Dark Northern Spring 31,721 tonnes Canada Western Red Spring 23,282 tonnes Australia Standard White 33,630 tonnes *Shipment Requirements: Arrival by Oct. 31 for western white. Loading between Sept. 21 and Oct. 20 for northern spring. Arrival by Nov. 30 for western red spring. Loading between Oct. 1-31 for standard white. (Reporting by James Topham and Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Aaron Sheldrick and Tom Hogue)
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