Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- China, the biggest buyer of U.S. farm products, said it rejected American shipments containing an unauthorized, genetically modified variety because the Asian nation was still reviewing its safety.
Syngenta AG had applied several times for the approval of MIR 162 grain since 2010 and was told materials and statistics submitted were incomplete, Bi Meijia, chief economist of the Ministry of Agriculture, said today at a briefing in Beijing. The company’s latest application received last month was being reviewed, he said.
A delay in approving the insect-resistant variety risks U.S. sales to China at a time when the second-biggest user is set to import a record amount of corn, while futures in Chicago have dropped 38 percent this year on rising global supply. China may buy 7 million tons in the year through September 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast last month.
“The approval for genetically modified seeds can be extremely lengthy,” Li Qiang, chairman of Shanghai JC Intelligence Co., said today in a telephone interview. U.S. suppliers will probably resell the shipments to other markets, he said.
Six batches totaling more than 180,000 tons, found to contain the unauthorized trait, have been rejected and returned, according to General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. About 3 million tons ordered by China are yet to be shipped for the 12 months that started Sept. 1, USDA data show.
China has been a net importer since 2010 and purchased a record 5 million tons on global markets in the year through September 2012.
Corn for March delivery rose 0.4 percent to $4.35 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 5:06 p.m. Beijing time. On Dalian Commodity Exchange, futures were little changed at 2,365 yuan a ton.
--William Bi. Editors: Sungwoo Park, Jarrett Banks