UPDATE 1-China rejects more U.S. corn due to GMO as state sales approach

Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:21am EDT
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* China has rejected total of 908,800 T of US corn in 5 mths

* Says cargoes tainted with MIR 162 GMO strain

* China committee to meet soon to decide whether to approve MIR 162

* China could sell from huge state corn reserves in May (Adds comment, detail)

BEIJING, March 25 (Reuters) - China has turned away more U.S. corn after detecting an unapproved genetically-modified strain in shipments, with buyers waiting for sales from the country's huge state reserves or shifting to cheap grain from Ukraine.

China's quality watchdog in the northern city of Tianjin turned away 21,800 tonnes of U.S. corn after detecting MIR 162, a GMO strain developed by Syngenta AG that Beijing has not approved for import, the official Xinhua news agency reported late on Monday.

That brings the total amount of corn that China has rejected from the United States, the world's largest exporter, to 908,800 tonnes since November.

A decline in China's appetite for corn imports could cap gains in benchmark U.S. corn futures that have climbed almost 16 percent this year.

"The industry is not optimistic over imports from the United States. Resolution of the GMO issue could drag on until the second half of the year," said an industry analyst with an official think-tank in Beijing.   Continued...