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Bunge Corporation v Tradax [1981] 1 WLR 711 House of Lords

A contract for the sale 5,000 tons of soya beans required the buyers to give the sellers 15 days notice of readiness of loading. This term was stated as a condition. The buyers gave a shorter notice period and the sellers treated this as terminating the contract and claimed damages. The price of soya beans had dropped by over $60 per ton. The initial hearing was decide by arbitration where it was held that the sellers were entitled to end the contract and awarded $317.500 representing the decrease in value of the soya beans. The buyers appealed to the High court who reversed this decision applying the innominate term approach from Hong Kong Fir. The Court of Appeal reversed the decision and the buyers appealed to the House of Lords.

Held: the term was stated as a condition and should be treated as such. The need for certainty in commercial contracts and the fact that the innominate term approach had caused much litigation meant that it should only be used where it was impossible to classify the term as a condition or warranty by reference to the term itself.