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EU looks to South America as maize crop shrivels

(Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- David Evans, Reuters, 08/07/03: PARIS - Analysts were cited as saying on Thursday that as searing temperatures across Europe shrivel the continental maize crop, imports of the grain are set to increase this year, with South American exporters benefiting the most.

The story says that the EU's shortfall in maize, essentially used in animal feed, could top five million tonnes this season as a drought in key southern European countries slashes production.

Countries like Argentina have had a good crop and can export non-GM (genetically modified) maize for use by millers making starch for human consumption. Some GM varieties approved in the European Union can be used in animal feed.

Analyst James Dunsterville of Geneva-based AgriNews was quoted as saying, "We're not importing U.S. corn (maize) because of the GM issue. But there's no problem with Argentine maize."