WASHINGTON (B)--U.S. corn exports are "back to where they ought to be," United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Tim Galvin said, but there may yet be further complications on future corn exports of StarLink contamination of the corn supply.

"We are turning a corner but it is not over," Galvin told reporters Dec. 14.

FAS reported weekly foreign sales of corn for the week ending Dec. 7 reached 1.39 million tons, double average corn sales for the last month. Much of the decline in U.S. corn sales abroad has been attributed to the StarLink problem.

Galvin repeated his assurances that the U.S. and Japan would "soon" sign a protocol guaranteeing StarLink-free shipments of feed corn. Both governments are exchanging draft copies of the agreement and are trying to clarify "a last few details" of the agreement.

The FAS chief, however, said he would not go into detail on any of the issues still needing to be worked out.

Galvin spoke to reporters during a day-long discussion between USDA officials, academics, and traders on how the World Agricultural Outlook Board--USDA's economic intelligence unit--can improve its monthly reports.

According to USDA Chief Economist Keith Collins, one non-governmental participant suggested that the board publish a monthly agricultural report on China, something Collins said USDA would look at.

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