China halts canola shipments from major Canadian supplier
A major Canadian canola exporter has had its registration to ship canola seeds to China revoked, the latest flare-up in a diplomatic and trade dispute between the two countries.
A Chinese customs document dated March 1 says the country has cancelled Winnipeg-based agricultural handler Richardson International's registration. That means the company is forbidden to export canola seeds to the country.
"Richardson has been directly targeted," vice-president Jean-Marc Ruest told CBC News. "We think this is part of a larger Canada-China issue, and we hope it gets resolved expeditiously."
In the past, China has sought to limit the amount of "dockage" it allows in Canadian canola — referring to material such as weeds, stems and other seeds — to help fight the spread of a fungal crop disease known as blackleg.
But Ruest said the company believes this new flare-up isn't related to those claims, but instead is tied to a roiling diplomatic dispute between the two countries.
"In regards to any issue of quality, we disagree with the Chinese allegations. The Canadian government respects and supports our position, and the quality of our product, at the same time."
Canada exported more than $5 billion worth of canola last year, and almost half of it was destined for the Chinese market — almost five million metric tonnes worth, according to the Canadian Canola Growers Association...
This has been excerpted from the 5 March 2019 edition of CBC News.