Officials with the Canola Council of Canada are perplexed by Tuesday's news that China has cancelled the canola export permit for a second Canadian company.

China is now targeting canola shipments from Viterra Inc., after pulling the license from Richardson International earlier this month.

Brian Innes, Vice President of Public Affairs for the Canola Council of Canada, says they are confused that China continues to identify "pests of concern" that somehow are in Canada's canola shipments today that weren't there several weeks ago.

"On the surface, the notice China put on its website identifies a few pests some of which are wheat seeds and one of which is blackleg. So we're really confused when blackleg is mentioned because we already have an agreement with China going back to 2016 that outlines how we're going to manage this pest and growers are investing a lot in managing blackleg on their farms," said Innes. "So we're a bit confused as to how new notices can come out about a pest that we already have an agreement to manage."

Innes pointed out that Canada hasn't had any questions about the quality of its canola from other customers, and noted there weren't any questions from China until a couple of weeks ago.

"Just last year we had record exports of canola seed...canola meal and...canola oil to China, so China has been a great customer of ours, their customers and the people in China appreciate the quality of our product but we're having a bit of a hiccup when it comes to this government notice."

He added this latest development in the canola trade dispute with China is injecting a lot of uncertainty that the industry doesn't need. 

According to Innes, China has been taking about $2.7 billion worth of Canadian canola seed per year. Because of this strong demand for the product, he feels those fundamentals will continue in the long term but remains puzzled by the country's latest action. 

The Canola Council of Canada would like to see the federal government send a high-level delegation to China to achieve a technical, science-based solution as soon as possible.

 

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