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GMO-FREE PRODUCTS & SEEDS: Australian delegation informed about demand for non-GE maize





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TITLE:   DEMAND FOR NON-GM MAIZE

SOURCE:  Weekly Times, Australia

AUTHOR:  Kim Woods

URL:     http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2011/08/26/371771_grain-and-hay.html

DATE:    26.08.2011

SUMMARY: "A recent Grains Research and Development Corporation maize industry visit to Japan and South Korea revealed increasing demand for non-genetically modified product. Maize Association of Australia members were told overseas millers and food manufacturers had found sourcing non-GM maize increasingly difficult. Millers were pleased with the Australian product but growers were urged to stay competitive with the US."

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DEMAND FOR NON-GM MAIZE

IT MAY be a matter of ?watch this space? for maize growers.

The high Australian dollar and global financial insecurities have put a cap on expanded maize production.

But the crop continues to offer Riverina and Victorian irrigators higher gross margins a hectare than rice or cotton.

A recent Grains Research and Development Corporation maize industry visit to Japan and South Korea revealed increasing demand for non-genetically modified product.

Maize Association of Australia members were told overseas millers and food manufacturers had found sourcing non-GM maize increasingly difficult.

Millers were pleased with the Australian product but growers were urged to stay competitive with the US.

Australian production in the past four years has averaged 360,000 tonnes from 60,000ha with exports at 10 per cent of production.

The stockfeed market is the biggest end user, consuming 200,000 tonnes annually while the next biggest market is grit at 105,000 tonnes.

Maize Association of Australia executive member Kieran O?Keeffe said the industry was pushing to expand exports on the back of the nation?s GM-free status.

Mr O?Keeffe said non-GM maize could capture premiums in a range of $20-$70/tonne.

?We have about 40 dedicated growers in the Riverina with the crop grown east to Wagga Wagga,? he said.

?Last year?s grit price was $350/tonne and the waxy price may be the same as last year - $290/tonne.?

Speaking at a Barooga grains update this month, Mr O?Keeffe said the crop?s gross margin of $2122/ha (at $350/tonne) compared favourably with rice at $1041/ha (at $250/tonne).

The large stockpiled carryover of feed wheat and barley is expected to affect maize sowings this summer.

?Word is this season there are no contracts for new waxy growers, with existing growers on half their contracts,? he said.