(Sylvain Charlebois – Ottawa Citizen)
Although most thought that Canada’s relations with China would get easier with a new Liberal government, things are becoming complicated again, just as the prime minister travels to Beijing. Some farmers are edgy – and for good reasons. China is threatening to buy canola elsewhere if Canada is unwilling to fix its fungus issue with canola.
China intends to apply new inspection standards on Sept. 1, which may block Canadian exporters from selling canola to Chinese importers. Stakes are significant for the largest exporter of canola in the world. More than 40 per cent of our annual canola exports, $2 billion worth, is bought by China. Canada relies on its big Kahuna, China, to sell this versatile commodity so it can pursue what is considered by many Canada’s greatest agricultural story in its young history. [...]
The standoff in China, however, is about the dockage level, which reports high concentrations of plants and weeds in Canadian canola. China is concerned that the current dockage level will spread blackleg disease to Chinese crops. However, the concerns regarding blackleg are not new. China registered concerns a few year ago and applied new standards. Nevertheless, China bought more than four million tons of canola from Canada this past year, which is 90 per cent of its imported canola. Click here to read more.