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Food trade   A Chinese ship with 5,000 tons

After 7 years China has resumed exports of corn to Japan

CornChina has resumed exports of corn to Japan for the first time in seven years, easing the plight of Japanese livestock farmers who are in desperate need of the feed grain because shipments from the U.S. have been delayed by heavy snowfall.

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Beijing wants to reduce the country's bulging corn stocks. It has a big opportunity to boost exports, provided it can clear a few hurdles.

The prospective shipments from China will total 20,000 to 30,000 tons, or 0.2% of Japan's annual corn imports.

A Chinese ship with a displacement of around 5,000 tons, carrying estimated 10,000 to 20,000 tons of Chinese corn arrived in the port of Shibushi in Kyushu, southwestern Japan, earlier this month. Animal feed makers in Japan expressed relief, saying the shipment will help them cope with tight supplies.

Japan mostly imports feed corn from the U.S. and South America. With the harvest approaching in the Southern Hemisphere, the U.S. was set to take over as the main supplier.

But heavy snow in January and February in the western U.S. has slowed deliveries to a crawl. Rail transport to grain export terminals in the Pacific Northwest have been delayed up to one month, forcing ships to remain in port.

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