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Canada and China Meet to Resolve Canola Tension

Officials from Canada and China are meeting in Beijing to try to resolve a disagreement between the two countries surrounding canola trade.

In February, China’s quarantine regulatory body, AQSIQ, informed Canada’s government that it was planning to tighten its canola inspection protocols for Canadian canola beginning April 1 – a date that was later re-set to September 1, for fear of blackleg contamination. Some traders suspect that the reason behind the move by China is due to China’s high domestic canola stocks.

Under China’s plan, a new threshold of no more than 1% of foreign matter will be allowed per shipment – down from the current threshold of 2.5%. This change would mean higher cleaning costs and could seriously hinder trade with Canada’s biggest canola market.

This announcement has seriously affected Canada’s $2 billion canola sector and prompted the trip to Beijing by a delegation from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency along with representatives from Canada’s agriculture and trade departments and the Canola Council of Canada in an attempt to convince China to shelf the plan.

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