China's agriculture ministry said Monday that it had approved two new genetically modified crops for import from the U.S., reported Reuters.
The announcement comes ahead of a potential Phase 1 trade deal signing between Beijing and Washington next month. The U.S. has long demanded that China imports more genetically modified crops.
According to Reuters, the new crops approved for import were Corteva AgriScience's DAS-81419-2 soybean and 55-1 papaya, developed by the USDA and Hawaii University.
"This further expands channels for imports of U.S. agricultural products, and helps pave the way for buying more U.S. soybeans," said Li Qiang, chief analyst with Shanghai J.C. Intelligence Co. Ltd.
Reuters also said China renewed import licenses for ten other genetically modified crops, including BASF developed T25 corn, A5547-127 soybean, T45 canola, Oxy-235 canola, and Ms8Rf3 canola.
Bayer-owned Monsanto Far East Ltd's MON89788 soybean, 15985 cotton, and H7-1 beet were also reapproved for import, along with DuPont subsidiary Pioneer's 305423 soybean and 305423×GTS40-3-2 soybean.
With the signing of the Phase 1 trade deal expected next month, China's Customs Administration reported last week that inbound agriculture shipments from the U.S. more than doubled to 2.6 million tons, the highest since March 2018, and up from about 1.1 million tons in October.
While China is unlikely to order less soybean from either Brazil or Argentina any time soon as the two nations have emerged as the two key supply chain alternatives to the U.S., the continued push to reopen the U.S. market to Chinese importers comes as China food inflation is soaring.