Canola is Canada’s second-largest export and top agricultural export to China. In 2015, Canadian exports of canola for oilseed crushing were valued at C$2 billion.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and China’s Premier Li Keqiang agreed to a memorandum of understanding that outlines stable and predictable trade for Canadian exports of canola to China, while collaborative work continues. The agreement provides a science-based approach for Canadian canola producers and allows trade between the two countries to continue on an uninterrupted basis through early 2020. Exports of canola will continue under existing conditions.
In 2009, China identified a concern over the presence of blackleg in shipments of Canadian canola. Blackleg has the potential to affect crop yields and is present in most canola- and rapeseed-growing countries.
Recognizing the importance of this issue to China, Canada and China have worked collaboratively since 2009 to find ways to mitigate the risk of transmitting blackleg through shipments of Canadian canola. Canada and China will continue to collaborate with the goal of improving risk-mitigation measures while also establishing a stable and predictable commercial environment that will benefit industry participants in both countries.
“By promoting and expanding market access to China, the government is ensuring our agriculture industry remains a central driver of the Canadian economy,” MacAulay said. “These milestone agreements on canola, beef and other agricultural products will help create jobs, opportunities and growth for farmers and the Canadian agricultural sector.”
MacAulay met with Zhi Shuping, China’s Minister of General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, to discuss key agricultural trade issues, including canola and beef, setting a positive tone for his planned visit to China in November.
The two countries renewed the four-year Action Plan on Agriculture Cooperation between Agriculture and Agri-food Canada and China’s Ministry of Agriculture (2016-20).
Freeland met with Gao Hucheng, China’s Minister of Commerce, and separately with Minister Zhi, who signed the canola memorandum. The ministers discussed the recent agreement on canola and reaffirmed their commitment to developing a lasting solution.
The two countries also announced five additional initiatives that will improve access to the Chinese market for Canadian producers and processors. Notably, Canada and China signed a protocol to expand market access for Canadian frozen bone-in beef and have also advanced several key initiatives to support trade in Canadian pork, bovine genetics and some processed foods.
As Canada’s second-largest trading partner, China offers significant opportunities for exports. In 2015, Canadian agricultural exports to China were valued at C$5.6 billion.