China's imports of U.S. distillers grains stay robust, no interruption

BEIJING Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:36am EST

BEIJING Dec 24 (Reuters) - China's recent strict checks for an unapproved genetically modified (GMO) strain in U.S. corn cargoes have not interrupted shipments of U.S. dried distillers grains (DDGs), a by-product of corn-based ethanol, an official think-tank said on Tuesday.

China's imports of U.S. DDGs has remained robust and is likely to hit a record high level in the current marketing year, the China National Grain and Oils Information Centre (CNGOIC) said in a report.

Traders told Reuters they have not heard of any DDGs shipments being rejected. China over the past month has rejected more than half a million tonnes of U.S. corn after detecting the unapproved GMO variety MIR 162 developed by Syngenta AG .

"There is no obvious impact on DDGs shipments from the rejection of U.S. GMO corn cargoes," said the centre. It expected China's imports in the year ending September to hit a record 4.5 million tonnes, up 60 percent on the previous year.

Its estimate was in line with earlier industgry estimates.

Monthly imports in coming months are estimated to average about 500,000 tonnes, it said. Imports in November grew 253 percent on a year earlier to 538,498 tonnes, according to official customs data.

Chinese feed mills use DDGs as a substitute for corn and meal in livestock feed rations. Almost all of the country's imports come from the United States, the world's largest exporter.

(Reporting by Niu Shuping and David Stanway; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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