August 24, 2011


Syngenta's modified corn may hurt Bunge's China sales



Bunge Ltd.'s North American unit is surprised and disappointed that Syngenta AG has sued to force their company to accept its Agrisure Viptera modified corn seed because it could hurt its China supply chain.


Bunge North America said it has told Syngenta that it will not accept the corn until the seeds obtain approval from China, which it considers a major export market. Syngenta expects to obtain approval in early 2012.


"Until this approval occurs, we must protect the integrity of our export supply chain by not accepting Agrisure Viptera and other varieties that do not have major export market approval," said Soren Schroder, Bunge North America's president and chief executive.


According to press reports, Syngenta filed suit last week to block Bunge from banning a variety of its biotech corn because only 1% of the US corn crop will be exported to China this year.


"Bunge's decision not to accept Agrisure Viptera is consistent with the North American Export Grain Association's policy to advocate that technology providers receive all major international approvals for a trait prior to seed sales," Schroder said.


Shares of Bunge recently traded at US$60.84, up 2%, while Syngenta shares were trading 2.6% higher at US$58.79.

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