More U.S. corn exports switched from China to Japan, South Korea: USDA

(Reuters) — More U.S. corn initially sold to China has been diverted to neighbouring Asian markets, according to U.S. government data on Thursday, as Beijing continues to stringently test for an unapproved genetically modified strain that has already triggered numerous rejections.

Beijing has rejected at least 600,000 tonnes of U.S. corn and corn products since November because they contained Syngenta AG’s MIR 162 corn, which has been awaiting Chinese import approval for more than two years.

The variety is approved for import by all other major global buyers so much of the rejected grain has been resold to countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its latest weekly export sales report that 63,900 tonnes of corn sold to China was switched to Japan. That total included about 51,400 tonnes exported in the week ended Dec. 5, USDA said.

About 55,000 tonnes in sales were also switched from China to South Korea in the week ended Jan. 2, USDA said.

But as more cargoes were diverted, U.S. exporters continued to load shipments to China. About 155,600 tonnes were loaded and shipped last week, USDA data showed.

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