It seems trade tensions between China and Canada have been stepped up.

China has blocked Canadian Canola shipments from Richardson International.

Richardson International's head office is based in Winnipeg.

Todd Lewis,President of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, says it’s deeply disappointing as China is a key market for our product.

“I believe in Saskatchewan it’s (Canola) over a third of our production goes to China every year and it’s been rising.  You know there’s been little trade disruptions over the last number of years but it’s important that we’re able to maintain that relationship. Canola is a big part of the Saskatchewan economy, let alone the farm economy and we’re sure going to need China as a customer going forward.

Lewis says there’s speculation that it’s more to do with diplomatic issues between Canada and China and the extradition hearing of the Chief Financial Officer of Hauwei.  

The Canola Council of Canada has released a statement regarding the news that China is no longer accepting shipments of canola from Richardson International.

"China is an important market for Canada’s canola industry, approximately 40% of our exports of canola and canola products go to China. News about blocked exports hurts the whole value chain. Demand for high quality oil and protein remains strong in China, and Canada remains a reliable and sustainable supplier of food for China. We look forward to the company involved resolving the current issue. We are aware of challenges our exporters have faced shipping to China – these are concerning as they create instability and add costs. While diplomatic frictions are concerning, there is no clear evidence that current challenges are linked to these frictions."

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