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Origin Agritech Surges on Report China Seed Approval Near

Origin Agritech Ltd. rose 23 percent after Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co. said the company is close to becoming the first to win approval to sell genetically modified seed in China.

Origin climbed to $3.09 at the close in New York, the biggest gain since Dec. 30, 2009. More than 5.3 million of the Beijing-based company’s shares traded hands, 89 times the average volume of the prior three months, according to data complied by Bloomberg.

Origin’s seed that adds phytase to corn is awaiting final approval in China, Chris L. Shaw, a New York-based analyst at Monness Crespi, said today in a report after meeting with Origin Chief Financial Officer James Chen. Phytase is an animal-feed additive that reduces phosphorous waste.

The seed approval “could still be delayed for some time,” Shaw said in the note.

Shaw said in a telephone interview that the market reaction to his note wasn’t justified because the company has already disclosed it’s awaiting Chinese approval for phytase corn. Origin expects the government to approve the seed technology in 2013, Chief Executive Officer Gengchen Han said at a Beijing conference last month.

The near-term opportunity for genetically modified seeds in China is “limited,” particularly for foreign producers such as DuPont Co. and Monsanto Co., while the long-term opportunity is “significant,” Shaw said in the note.

Shiwei Yin, a New York-based spokesman at Grayling, the company’s investor-relations firm, said he isn’t aware of any “company-specific reasons” for today’s stock move.

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