China is interested in buying more corn from Argentina, but it’s still unclear whether certain genetically modified strains of the grain will be allowed to enter the Chinese market, according to the Argentine Agriculture Ministry.
Argentina signed an export deal with China in early 2012, but the agreement didn’t cover some of the types of corn produced. But traders say that as long as Argentine farmers are growing the same kinds of genetically modified corn as U.S. farmers do, the agreement should hold. China has approved 12 GMO corn strains for import into the country.
Argentina is forecast to export 13 million metric tons of 2011–2012 corn and 16 million metric tons of the 2012–2013 crop, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Chinese corn imports are forecast to increase to 7 million metric tons in 2012–2013, due largely to rising livestock and industrial consumption.