December 10, 2008
China's Heilongjiang province, the largest soy area, has found suspected genetically-modified (GM) soy amid state reserve stocks, provincial authorities said.
Beijing has agreed to buy 2 million tonnes of local non-GM soy from farmers in the north-east province as part of plans to shore up domestic prices and help farmers cover higher input costs.
But some traders have taken advantage of the higher prices offered, delivering cheap imported soy to some state warehouses in the province, the local grain and quarantine bureau said.
It is unclear how much GM soy has been imported into the province, but a local crusher, the first known importer of the product, told Reuters that it had not shipped its cargo to the province. The cargo of 60,000 tonnes of GM soy has only arrived at Dalian port.
Beijing has offered farmers RMB3,700 (US$538) per tonne for the soy it purchases, 27 percent higher than US soy.
That has prompted farmers to demand the same price from local crushers, which in turn led some crushers to turn to imports.
US$1 = RMB6.864 (Dec 10)