Chinese importers have stopped buying Canadian canola seed: Industry group

Canola seed exporters say Chinese importers are currently unwilling to purchase their product

Canola seed exporters report Chinese companies — one of their major markets — have stopped buying their product, according to an industry group.

The ongoing trade dispute that started earlier this month when China revoked the permit of a major Canadian exporter is also causing woes for canola farmers, grappling with lower prices and delayed shipments.

Canola seed exporters have told the Canola Council of Canada that Chinese importers are currently unwilling to purchase their product, the group said in a statement released Thursday. Companies that are members of the council include Viterra Inc., Louis Dreyfus Company, Cargill Ltd. and Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd.

The reports come weeks after China’s foreign ministry blocked imports from one of Canada’s largest grain producers, Richardson International Ltd., citing fears of insect infestation.

At the time, some suggested the move was retaliation for Canada’s arrest of a top Chinese tech executive. In December, Canadian authorities arrested Huawei Technologies Co. Inc. senior executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver at the behest of the United States.

There was some initial optimism that Chinese concerns with canola trade could be resolved quickly, the industry group said, and it’s disappointed that did not happen.

Canada exports about 40 per cent of its canola seed, oil and meal to China with canola seed exports to the country being worth $2.7 billion in 2018, according to the council.

“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 a statement.

It has also created problems for farmers.

David Reid, 42, is a partner at the family farm he grew up on in Cremona, Alta. — about 90 kilometres northwest of Calgary. Canola accounts for about 30 per cent of what the farm produces now.

The farm sells to a company that exports the product to other places, like China, but after Richardson’s permit was revoked Reid said shipments slowed and he saw an immediate price drop for his product.

Prices fell by a dollar a bushel, he said, which he estimated to be a 12 per cent fall.

The price of the commodity also fell in futures contract trading since Wanzhou’s arrest. The May canola futures contract was trading at $458.30 per tonne Friday afternoon — down nearly 2.2 per cent.

Reid is now holding on to more of his product in hopes the price will rise.

“We don’t know how long we might have to wait for the price to increase,” he said, adding that while it’s possible to store the product for a long time, bin space will become an issue by the fall when he’ll need the space for the next canola crop.

He has already sold some product at the lower price, which hurts his bottom line.

“Everybody’s feeling it for sure,” he said of other canola farmers he knows.

Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Two drowning incidents on Okanagan Lake serve as safety reminder

B.C. drowning fatalities down compared to August 2018

New Penticton/Kelowna transit route ready to roll out

Route 70 Penticton/Kelowna will provide a direct trip to Kelowna from Penticton and Summerland

Kelowna man charged with killing wife and two daughters returns to court

Jacob Daniel Forman appeared before B.C. Supreme Court today

Kelowna dog ‘Alice’ to get surgery thanks to BC SPCA crowdfunding

With the surgery, Alice’s prognosis is ‘excellent,’ stated the BC SPCA

It’s back! Aritzia releases annual warehouse sale dates

Your favourite summer end sale is back and ready to take your money

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Black bear kills donkey in Revelstoke, put down by RCMP

Conservation Officer says once they attack livestock they are a danger to the public

VIDEO: RCMP unveil new, state-of-the-art forensics lab in Surrey

The laboratory is expected to handle thousands of forensic services from across Canada annually

Shuswap SPCA seeks funds to treat dog that may lose an eye

Two surgeries for severe eye infection unsuccessful, removal a consideration

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival exceeds expectations

Artists, attendees and organizers praise effort behind successful event

B.C. seizes 1.5M grams contraband tobacco, down from 5.75M grams the year prior

The 2019-2020 seizures were a sharp drop compared to the 2018-2019 year,

Most Read