Wen Visits Argentina as China Seeks Corn-Bargaining Clout - Businessweek
The first visit by a Chinese premier in 27 years signals the final step for Argentina to start selling corn to China as the second-biggest consumer of the crop seeks to reduce its reliance on U.S. imports...
Wen’s visit is evidence that initial approvals to export genetically-modified corn will be ratified, said Martin Fraguio, head of growers’ association Maizar. Argentina, the second-largest exporter, would give China an alternative to the U.S. as the Asian nation imports a record 7 million metric tons that at today’s price would be worth about $1.5 billion.
“They will have more clout in negotiating purchases with the U.S.,” Fraguio said by telephone. “It’s not the same negotiating with just one seller than having three or four.” China became a net corn importer in 2009 as its domestic crop failed to keep up with growth in livestock feed demand and a corn-processing industry that makes everything from starch used in aspirins to high fructose corn syrup used to sweeten Coca Cola. Slowing economic growth probably won’t curb corn imports as rising incomes boost demand for beef and pork.
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