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Stable access to China for Canadian canola

Last week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced stable canola trade between Canada and China will continue through 2020. Under the agreement, canola trade can occur according to terms in place in August 2016, and measures to manage the risk of blackleg disease in canola will be based on science.


September 28, 2016
By Canola Council of Canada

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“Last week’s announcement provides the stable access to China needed by the canola industry,” said Patti Miller, president of the Canola Council of Canada. “It’s welcomed news for the whole canola value chain, just as our growers bring in this year’s harvest. We’re optimistic that we can now focus on science-based solutions.”

In recent months, there has been significant uncertainty around canola seed exports to China – one of Canada’s most valuable exports to the country. A proposed measure that would have hampered trade and increased costs was set to be implemented on Sept. 1, though implementation was stayed during Trudeau’s visit to Beijing in late August.

Both countries committed to finding science-based solutions to manage blackleg. The Canadian canola industry will work with both national governments to manage blackleg risk according to international pest risk management standards. The agreement reflects months of co-operative work between Canada and China, and intense discussions in recent days.

“This agreement reflects a willingness to manage risk and facilitate trade, which is a good sign for all Canadian exports,” Miller said. “Managing this plant disease is important for both Canada and China, and with this agreement we can move forward with solutions that help both countries.”

With a target market of more than 500 million consumers, a clear need for healthier oils and awareness of canola just taking off, there is significant opportunity to grow canola exports to China. The country is already the world’s largest oilseed importer.

In 2015, Canada exported 3.8 million tonnes of canola seed valued at $2 billion to China, accounting for 40 per cent of Canada’s canola seed exports.