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article imageChina stops buying Canadian canola seed as tensions rise

By Karen Graham     Mar 22, 2019 in World
Ottawa - Chinese importers are unwilling to purchase Canadian canola seed at the moment, the group that represents the industry in Canada says. This is hurting an industry that sells billions of dollars worth of Canadian canola to China.
Ottawa and Beijing have been locked in a trade dispute over telecom technology that escalated into an arrest in Vancouver in December of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. warrant.
China struck back where it hurts the most, revoking the permit of a major Canadian exporter - Winnipeg-based Richardson International - which confirmed on March 6 that China had revoked its permit to export canola there on March 1.
A spokesperson for the Canola Council of Canada said Canada exported more than $5 billion worth of canola last year, with about half being exported to China. This includes exports by Richardson, Viterra, and Cargill Ltd.
The Canola Council of Canada was notified by canola exporters that Chinese importers were "unwilling to purchase their product," according to a statement released on Thursday., according to the Financial Post.
The Qu Appelle Valley with a field of Canola  late summer  Southern Saskatchewan.
The Qu'Appelle Valley with a field of Canola, late summer, Southern Saskatchewan.
Kjfmartin (CC BY-SA 3.0)
"Under the circumstances, Canadian canola seed exporters who normally ship to China have no alternative but to supply customers in other countries who value high-quality Canadian canola,” said Jim Everson, the council’s president, in the statement.
Right now, canola farmers are holding onto their harvest, hoping they can still ease their bottom line. This latest dispute between the two countries has sent prices for the crop plunging. For delivery in May, it has fallen almost $10 to $458 a ton on Friday, only slightly ahead of the multi-year low of $455 it hit earlier this month, reports CBC Canada.
Many people may not know this - but the "can" in canola stands for Canada. Canola is a specific variety of the rapeseed plant that has a bright yellow flower. Canola was bred from rapeseed cultivars of Brassica napus and Brassica rapa at the University of Manitoba, Canada, by Keith Downey and Baldur R. Stefansson in the early 1970s
More about China, Canada, canola seed, ban on imports, Foreign policy
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