July 15, 2020

Sinograin probes corn quality in northeastern China



Sinograin is investigating the corn quality in one of its warehouses in northeastern China, after a video showed that the site was full of mouldy, low-grade corn, China's state grain stockpiler said Sunday, Reuters reported.


A video posted on China's Weibo platform and viewed by Reuters shows a pile of corn inside a warehouse managed by a Sinograin subsidiary in Zhaodong in Heilongjiang province.


Much of the grain in the video appears to be mouldy and there also appear to be large amounts of foreign material.


Reuters could not verify the authenticity of the video, which was posted online on Saturday.


Sinograin said that it had sent a team the next day to investigate the condition of supplies at the warehouse named in the video.


"If the issue is true, (we) will seriously deal with the people responsible," the stockpiler said.


China, the world's second-biggest corn producer, buys large volumes of the grain each year for state reserves but has encountered quality problems in the past.


The allegations of poor quality come as corn prices rise on concern over tight supplies in the market.


The grain in the Zhaodong warehouse came from a one-off corn purchase to support prices, the video said. Sinograin last made such a purchase in 2016, of about 16 million tonnes, one market analyst said, asking to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the matter.


In the video seen by Reuters, a woman who claims to have purchased corn from Sinograin shows the corn, allegedly inside the Qinggang Rongchang Modern Agriculture Development Co warehouse rented by Sinograin Zhaodong, and says that it is mixed with grain used to make alcohol.


The unidentified woman in the video also accuses local warehouse managers of charging her additional fees for grain delivery and of failing to supply the amount agreed in the contract.

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