July 17, 2006


China's New Hope Group to import GMO corn from US



Sichuan-based New Hope Trade Co., a unit of New Hope Group, plans to import over 1,000 tonnes of GM corn from the US in September to be used for animal feed, a company official said Monday (Jul 17). 


The government allowed GM corn be  imported for the first time in May and decides each GMO import on a case-by-case basis.


"We are close to finishing the formalities at the Ministry of Agriculture and General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, which are expected to issue us the import permissions soon," said Ai Zhongguo, an official with New Hope Trade Co.


The Sichuan-based company is China's largest animal-feed producer by output.


New Hope Group imported around 100 tonnes of GMO corn from the US in May, Ai said.


Ai refused to provide financial details for the deal. Corn prices are currently quoted at RMB1,240-RMB1420 a tonne.


China has been a net exporter of corn until now, but analysts expect the country to be a net importer in two years because of the increasing demand.


"Whether we import more GMO corn in the future depends on corn prices in both domestic and international markets," Ai added.