Home Investing News Exclusive-Argentina on track to start corn exports to China in July – grains chamber head

Exclusive-Argentina on track to start corn exports to China in July – grains chamber head

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By Maximilian Heath

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) -Argentina is on track to start long-awaited corn shipments to China from July, the country’s grain export chamber told Reuters on Tuesday, which would be a major boost for the South American nation, the world’s no. 3 supplier of the grain.

“Yesterday they confirmed to us that all the conditions are in place to move forward with shipments to China starting in July,” said Gustavo Idigoras, the head of the CIARA-CEC chamber, the first time confirming plans were on track to start exports.

Argentina’s government previously said it was aiming to start corn exports to China by July, but that there were pending administrative procedures to obtain import licenses.

“The Chinese market is growing with 20 million tons of imports per year. Brazil is the first supplier. So Argentina has all the conditions to be a strong and reliable supplier of corn for animal feed,” Idigoras said.

The two countries struck an initial agreement last year to open up exports of Argentine corn to China, but official data show that no shipments of cereal have been made to Chinese ports since it was signed, with outstanding issues to resolve.

The two countries had over a decade ago tried to open up the trade of Argentine corn, most of which is genetically modified. A small amount was allowed into China in 2012 as a test, but Beijing’s concerns around GMO held things back.

Now that hold-up appears to have eased.

Earlier on Tuesday, Argentina’s government said that China had authorized for import two varieties of herbicide tolerant GMO corn that are grown in the country, easing the passage for exports and helping Chinese importers to get permits.

Argentine farmers are in the initial stages of harvesting corn for the 2023/24 season, whose production is estimated at 47.5 million tons by the major Rosario grains exchange.

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