December 7, 2011
US corn products shipped to EU halt
Amid concerns of the presence of unapproved genetically modified organisms (GMOs), US corn product exports to the EU have been virtually cancelled, stated oilseeds analysts Oil World on Tuesday (Dec 6).
Europe's biotechnology industry warned in October that agricultural imports are increasingly put at risk by the slowness of the bloc's approval system for new strains of GMO crops.
"Exports of corn by-products from the US to the EU have now come to a standstill," Oil World said. "The 2011 US corn crop contains a GMO event (new plant type) not yet approved for import in the EU."
EU Oct. 2011/Sept. 2012 corn gluten feed imports are likely to slump to 180,000 tonnes from 960,000 tonnes in 2010/11, Oil World estimates. Corn gluten is a common feed for dairy and beef cattle.
EU feed importers have in the past warned that new strains of GMO crops in the United States can disrupt imports unless they are approved rapidly as it is often impossible to sort approved and non-approved crop supplies in large bulk shipments. Importers are faced with huge costs if they cannot unload ships at EU ports and so stop imports of entire crop types if they fear unapproved GMO content.
"Under these conditions, there will probably be a shortfall of corn gluten feed supplies on the EU feed market of roughly one million tonnes in 2011/12," Oil World said.
US corn gluten feed exports to non-EU country Turkey have also been cut by GMO problems, it said.
"The prospective closure of the EU market will force US exporters to further step up sales to other destinations," it said.