Canadian Group Says Wheat Concern Won’t Cut China Trade

The Canadian International Grains Institute said wheat-quality concerns on shipments to China won’t disrupt trade.

COFCO Corp., China’s largest grain trader, said some supplies of spring wheat from Canada lacked sufficient proteins, Earl Geddes, the institute’s chief executive officer, said today in a telephone interview from Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada. Officials from the grain group visited the Asian nation in response to the complaints.

Quality concerns are “rare,” and “the grain industry, if it wants to retain the ‘best wheat in the world’ brand, needs to respond to those customers in an appropriate way,” Geddes said.

The U.S. is the world’s top wheat exporter, followed by Canada. State-owned COFCO, based in Beijing, probably won’t change to U.S. supplies because of protein concerns, Geddes said.

“If Canada didn’t go to meet with them, address the issue with them and show them how to utilize Canadian wheat more effectively, they might,” he said. “But this incident doesn’t say that COFCO is going to shift its buying patterns at all. This isn’t a story that should be blown out of proportion. This is regular trade.”

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