Buyers in China, the second-biggest corn consumer, may halt purchases from the U.S. as quarantine officials reject more shipments with a non-approved genetically modified variety，said Yigu Information Consulting Ltd.
Inspectors this week stopped two bulk-carriers and smaller-sized container ships from unloading cargoes containing the insect-resistant MIR 162 grain, said Feng Lichen, the general manager of the researcher based in the northern port city of Dalian.
“It raises the question of whether we will see any more U.S. corn imports at all in the next few months,” said Feng, citing talks with traders in China. This will weigh on corn prices in the U.S. and force Chinese buyers to buy more local supplies, he said.
The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine hasn’t commented publicly on the matter.
The official Xinhua News Agency reported on Nov. 29 that one cargo had been rejected, citing Chen Xitong, a spokesman for the quarantine service. The reporting of the case by state-owned Xinhua indicated a stricter approach by authorities, Feng said.
Two more cargoes from the U.S. have been rejected since the case reported by Xinhua, state-owned researcher Grain.gov.cn said in an e-mailed report, citing unidentified domestic traders.
Corn for March delivery rose 0.4 percent to $4.26 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 4:46 p.m. Beijing time. On the Dalian Commodity Exchange, the contract for May was unchanged today at 2,365 yuan a ton, or $9.86 per bushel.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Nov. 9 that China may import 7 million tons in the year through Sept. 30.
— With assistance by William Bi