As Global Grain Prices Surge, China Moves to Approve GMO Crops

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Looking to bolster its long-term food supplies as corn and soybean prices rally, China has announced initial steps to approve domestic cultivation of new varieties of genetically modified corn and soybeans.


The move follows China’s recent plan for 2021/22 to expand corn acreage, which Gro shows has declined for several years. Both announcements underline China’s tightening reserves of grain and its push to achieve greater self-sufficiency in feed grain production.


China has long shied away from cultivating GMO crops due to public concerns about safety, although the country allows their import for animal feed use. The fact that China now is moving to allow greater use of GMO technology underlines the heightened importance Beijing ascribes to food security. GMO crops can bring an increase in production efficiency, a necessary technological advance to ensure China’s ability to feed its growing urban population. Continue to follow Gro’s Real-Time Assessments to stay up-to-date on China’s efforts to boost food supplies. 


China is the world’s second-largest corn producer, behind the United States, and the fourth-largest producer of soybeans. China is far and away the world’s largest consumer of soybeans. Nearly all corn and soybeans grown in both the US and Brazil are genetically modified. 


While the latest efforts are aimed at increasing long-term food and feed supplies, import demand will remain high in the short term. If current conditions hold, Gro believes that China’s corn imports will comfortably exceed the USDA’s latest estimate of 17.5 million tonnes. That will keep both domestic cash corn prices in China and CBOT and Dalian futures high. 


This insight was powered by the Gro platform, which enables better and faster decisions about factors affecting the entire global agricultural ecosystem. Gro organizes over 40,000 datasets from sources around the world into a unified ontology, which allows users to derive valuable insights such as this one. You can explore the data available on Gro with a free account, or please get in touch if you would like to learn more about a specific crop, region, or business issue.

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