Brazil to open up for US GMO corn imports

The Brazilian corn market will be tight this year. Tereza Cristina, Brazil’s agriculture minister, has announced that Brazil will now allow for genetically modified organism (GMO) corn imports from the United States.

Brazil will open its doors to US corn imports, with the failure in the country’s second corn crop – safrinha – raising concerns about domestic feed availability, Cristina said during a live-streamed event on Monday June 14.

The type of GMO corn produced in the US is not produced in Brazil and its import needs to be authorized by the country’s Biosecurity National Technical Commission (CTNBio).

Tight stocks raise concerns
The Brazilian corn market is expected to be particularly tight this year due to the failure in the not-yet-harvested safrinha, which accounts for more than 70% of the country’s corn output.

Declining expected yields due to late planting along with dry and warm weather conditions led Brazilian food agency Conab to downgrade the country’s corn production estimate by 10 million tonnes.

This has raised concerns among Brazilian feedstock consumers about the lack of feed affecting livestock production amid rising meat exports and domestic consumption.

“There is not going to be a lack of corn, though prices will remain high,” Cristina said.

In the first five months of the year, Brazil imported around 821,000 tonnes of corn, up by 78% year on year.

Almost all imported volumes came from Paraguay, and imports from the US have historically been negligible – with only the North-Northeast region of the country likely to accommodate volume.

This article, by Eduardo Tinti, was first published to on June 15.

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