China has revoked export permits for canola from Canadian supplier Richardson International.
Richardson International said it was notified that its export permit has been revoked over allegations of crop infestation.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said “harmful organisms” had been found in shipments from Richardson, but this has been questioned in Canada.
Following several “non-compliance” notices China issued on export shipments Canada’s Food Inspection Agency has been investigated nine shipments since January and not found any evidence of contamination.
In Canada, China’s move is deemed to be retaliation in the escalating diplomatic row over Canada’s detention of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of Huawei’s founder.
Meng was arrested while in transit at Vancouver airport, following an extradition order from the United States. The resulting extradition proceeding has turned into an international incident between China and Canada.
In retaliation China has arrested two Canadian citizens who it has charged with espionage, and slowed the processing of some imports from Canada.
China currently receives around 41% of Canada’s annual Canola exports, which amounted to 4.3 Mt out of the total 10.7 Mt of canola the country exported from the 2017-18 crop year.
The new biggest export markets are Japan (2.5 Mt) and then Mexico (1.4 Mt). So far, only canola from Richardson has been affected.