Market News & Headlines >> Exporters Shy Away from Duracade Corn

Two of the world’s top grains and oilseeds exporters have indicated they will not handle loads of grain containing Syngenta AG’s new genetically-engineered Agrisure Duracade corn variety, which has not been approved for import by China or the European Union. 

Cargill Inc. said on Friday it will reject loads containing the Duracade trait that are delivered for export contracts. “For export contracts, we will not accept delivery of any commodity containing the Duracade trait," Cargill told Reuters News Service in an e-mail on Friday. "Cargill reserves the right to reject and/or require testing of deliveries and any acceptance, rejection or testing for the presence of Duracade will be determined by Cargill in its sole discretion at the time of delivery," the company said.

Cargill’s move came one day after Bunge Ltd., indicated it would not handle any Duracade corn until China approves the rootworm-resistant variety. "We handle crops that have been approved in major markets," Chief Executive Officer Soren Schroder told Reuters. "That is our stand."

Concerns about Duracade corn are high in the export sector following China’s rejection of more than 600,000 metric tons of U.S. corn in recent months due to the presence of another unapproved Syngenta corn variety -- Agrisure Viptera (MIR 162). In late January, the National Grain and Feed Association and North American Export Grain Association asked Syngenta, to halt sales of Agrisure Viptera and Agrisure Duracade corn varieties until the Chinese government approved them for import.

Corn seeds containing Agrisure Duracade trait are available for planting in the U.S. for the first time this year after USDA cleared the trait in 2013. The Duracade trait has been approved for import by many major buyers of U.S. corn, including Mexico, South Korea and Japan. There is demand from producers for both Viptera and Duracade corn. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said earlier this month that Syngenta was “basically sold out” of its supply of Agrisure Viptera for the 2014 growing season.