China has approved a new genetically modified (GM) soyabean developed by US seed and agrichemicals firm Dow AgroSciences for import.

The insect-resistant soyabean was included in a list published by China’s agriculture ministry on 30 December, Bloomberg said.

China also approved a new type of GM papaya and renewed import permits for 10 biotech crops including one corn variety, four soyabeans and four canola strains. The seeds – produced by firms including BASF, Bayer AG’s Monsanto unit and Dupont Pioneer – can be imported into China until December 2022.

“The news help confirm China’s opening of its market to US GM products and its dropping of additional non-tariff barriers,” Bloomberg quoted John Payne, senior futures and options broker at Daniels Trading, as saying.

The USA has argued that China’s stance on GMOs had been used as a non-tariff barrier and was not based on science, Bloomberg said.

In 2013, China turned away several cargoes of corn and distillers dried grain from the USA due to the presence of a GM variety that took it almost five years to approve.

Bloomberg said China was the world’s largest canola importer, the second largest corn consumer and bought more than 60% of globally traded soyabeans.

Dow AgroSciences is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical Company and specialises in seeds and agrichemicals.