By Karl Plume
Nov 18 China rejected a cargo of U.S. corn
because it contained a genetically modified variety that is not
approved for import, a trade source said on Monday.
The shipment contained Syngenta AG's Agrisure
Viptera corn, also known as MIR 162, the source said.
"It's confirmed. It's one cargo and MIR 162 was the
problem," said the source, who asked not to be identified.
China has not yet signed off the variety but is expected to
approve it later this year or in 2014, according to traders. It
is approved for import by numerous U.S. trading partners,
including Mexico, the European Union and top corn importer
"Syngenta is not aware of any such incident," said Paul
Minehart, head of Corporate Communications-North America for
Agrisure Viptera, designed to offer enhanced protection
against crop-damaging insects, is widely grown in the United
States so traces of the grain may have been commingled with
approved corn strains in a shipment to China, traders said.
A bulk corn shipment from Argentina was cleared for import
earlier this year despite it containing traces of MIR 162.
China is expected to import a record-high 7 million tonnes
of corn in the 2013/14 (Sept/Aug) marketing year, according to
the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
After shifting from a corn exporter to a net importer in
2010, China has become on of the world's top three corn markets,
buying nearly all of its imports from top exporter the United
U.S. corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade extended
earlier losses following confirmation of the rejected cargo.
December futures fell 7-1/4 cents, or 1.8 percent, at
$4.14-1/2 per bushel by 11:56 a.m. CST (1756 GMT).