Business & Policy
China removes restrictions on Canadian canola exports
By Top Crop Manager
After more than three years, China has reinstated access to its market for two Canadian canola companies.
Richardson International and Viterra Inc. will now be able to export canola into China for the first time since trade was suspended in March 2019.
The decision was relayed to Canadians through an announcement by Mary Ng, minister of international trade, export promotion, small business and economic development, and Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food. The ministers welcomed the decision and said they will “continue to work with Canadian canola farmers, businesses, exporters, and their communities to defend their interests and support their success at home and in markets abroad, including China.”
They added in their statement, “Canada will always firmly uphold the international rules-based trade system and related dispute settlement mechanisms, as well as a science-based approach to resolving such issues.”
Prior to the 2019 stoppage, China had been an important market for Canadian canola, accounting for approximately 40 per cent of the country’s canola seed, oil and meal exports. In 2018, Canada’s canola seed exports to China were worth $2.7 billion. Export permits for Richardson International and Viterra Inc. were suspended in March during a diplomatic dispute between the two countries. At the same time, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada noted that China had tightened inspection measures on all Canadian canola seed shipments, eventually banning all Canadian canola exports.
According to the Canola Council of Canada (CCC), canola seed exports to China were down approximately 70 per cent that year, with exports falling to $800 million. In 2020, exports rose to $1.4 billion and in 2021, they totalled $1.8 billion.
The CCC also welcomed the decision. “This is a positive step forward, restoring full trade in canola with China and ensuring that all Canadian exporters are treated equally by the Chinese administration,” said Jim Everson, CCC president, in a statement. “We will continue efforts to nurture and maintain a predictable, rules-based trade environment. We thank Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, International Trade Minister Mary Ng and Canada’s trade officials for their support in bringing about today’s announcement.”