SAO PAULO — Brazil may start exporting corn to China before the end of this year, Cesario Ramalho, the head of institutional affairs at corn farmer group Abramilho, said on Tuesday.
Ramalho, speaking at a news conference, said the timeline was provided by Agriculture Ministry officials, who are in talks with China about the acceptance of certain types of transgenic corn cultivated in the South American country.
Brazilian and Chinese authorities concluded negotiations to update the protocol for exports of Brazilian corn to China, the ministry said in a statement to Reuters.
“The technical teams from both countries have been in talks with the aim of concluding the technical procedures that will allow the start of exports,” the ministry said, without elaborating.
In May, China’s customs authorities said they had finalized an agreement to allow imports of Brazilian corn, lining up an alternative to U.S. corn to replace imports from Ukraine.
But shipments have not begun, as talks are ongoing for China to approve certain types of transgenic corn that Brazilian farmers already plant with authorization from Brazilian biosecurity agency CTNBio, Ramalho told the briefing.
Brazil sells corn to countries like Iran, Japan, Mexico and the European Union, Ramalho said, and should continue to export corn to as many markets as possible to avoid dependence on only one buyer.
Ramalho estimates China buys about half of Brazil’s exported meat and some 80% of its soy exports each year. (Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Paul Simao and Sam Holmes)
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