October 28, 2014
US corn exports to China have become problematic after the latter started enforcing a zero tolerance policy for the genetically engineered MIR 162.
Although most US corn is consumed domestically, the disruption in the trade with China has affected the corn sector since "foreign markets represent an important source of demand for US corn," according to Kim Dillivan, South Dakota State University Extension crops business management field specialist.
Dillivan said approval of MIR 162 was pending in China for over four years and during that period "China has consistently imported corn containing the trait."
In November 2013, however, "China began rejecting shipments of US corn, and by January 2014, corn exports to China had essentially fallen to zero," he said.
Apparently, the disruption in corn trade between China and the US did not affect the distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) exports. China, thus, remains the primary market for DDGS exports, Dillivan said.
Recently, however, China announced that certificates were now required from point-of-origin exporters, including the US, that guarantee DDGS shipments are free of the biotech trait MIR 162.
The US Grains Council, however, explained that no US government agency had authority to issue these certificates.
China's announcement "places current shipments and future sales of DDGS in jeopardy," said Dillivan.
"It remains unclear whether any shipments of DDGS to China have been affected since the beginning of September," he added.