DDGS exports to China: Update

Farm Forum

The import situation in China continues to evolve for distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) as traders learn to navigate the changing regulatory environment. Existing import permits continue to be valid, contracts are still being written, and DDGS continue to arrive in China, where they are subject to inspection. Shipments that pass inspection continue to enter China.

Based on trade reports and recent discussions with government officials in China it seems that approximately 200,000 metric tons of U.S. DDGS have failed the new inspection regimen and are stranded in ports in China. The re-export of these shipments to other markets that accept the traits in question is a high priority. The Council is hard at work on the ground in China with traders and government officials to facilitate this process

Current reports also indicate that new import permits will be issued to companies that either have no report of unapproved biotechnology in their imports over the last year or that have dealt with (i.e. re-exported or destroyed) any previously rejected cargos within two months. These traders must also obtain certification that any new imports will not contain any unapproved traits.

Since the inadvertent presence of such events at trace levels is difficult to avoid, and since testing can often yield false positives, the exact nature of the testing protocols is important. Policy and practice continue to evolve in these areas, which has produced ongoing uncertainty and increased commercial risk. This is expensive both for traders and buyers, end-users, and consumers in China — a situation that highlights once again the importance of achieving greater synchronicity in the biotech approval process and a workable protocol on low- level presence of unapproved events.