BEIJING, CHINA — Two feedstock companies that have evaluated samples of Origin Agritech’s new nutritionally enhanced corn have signed purchase agreements for a total of 50,000 tonnes of finished product, Origin announced April 7.

Origin Agritech, an agricultural technology company based in Beijing, China, said its nutritionally enhanced corn reduces the need for expensive additives such as soybean meal for feedstock companies, improving margins. Origin has been giving samples of the corn to potential feedstock customers so that they can validate the nutritional content of the corn. The corn has passed these tests, and companies now are placing orders.

Origin is contract growing 50,000 tonnes of the corn in Xinjiang, rather than selling the seed directly to customers. The feedstock companies have agreed to buy the corn at market prices at the time of delivery, plus a mark-up for the added value of the corn. Based on current market prices for corn, the sale price could be about 3,000 yuan (US $471.39) per tonne or 150 million yuan ($23.6 million) in total, Origin said.

“We are excited by the positive reception by customers to our new corn variety,” said Dr. Gengchen Han, chairman of Origin Agritech. “In these unprecedented times of disruption in food supply chains and food inflation, I am particularly happy that we are having a positive impact on food security for China.”