US biotech company Calyxt Inc has contracted to sell its entire 2020 gene-edited soyabean crop to agribusiness giant ADM.

The company said on 14 December that the sale amounted to around 4M bushels of its high oleic soyabean, which was launched in 2019 as the first commercially approved gene-edited food in the USA.

Reuters reported Calyxt as saying that the oilseed had zero trans fat per serving and lower saturated fats and, as part of the deal, ADM would crush the soyabeans as well as market and sell the resulting oil and meal.

With soyabean prices at around US$11.50/bushel, the deal would contribute at least US$45M to Calyxt’s revenue, excluding the premium it would charge for the oilseed, Reuters said.

The deal came amid a supply shortage in the USA due to rising demand from domestic processors and lower global stockpiles of soyabeans due to a months-long dry spell in Argentina, the news agency reported.

This had led to an expectation that US soyabean ending stocks for the 2020/21 marketing year would be at their lowest level in seven years.

Forecasts for world soyabean stocks had been cut to 85.64M tonnes from 86.52M tonnes, against expectations for 85.11M tonnes, based on an average of estimates given in a Reuters poll.