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Canola exports to China in question

Canola exports to China in question

Posted on: 3/6/2019 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

​​The stunning, bright yellow fields of Alberta canola are a sight to behold. Not only does it look good, it’s a valuable contribution to our agriculture sector and global exports.

The chart below shows the value of exports of canola seed from Alberta to the rest of the world. China is the single largest destination, accounting for nearly half of global exports in 2018. Based on the estimate from the period January to November, canola seed exports to China for the entire year amounted to nearly $800 million, a four-fold increase from eight years ago.

Earlier this month, though, China announced it has cancelled the registration of Winnipeg-based agricultural handler Richardson International. That means the company is forbidden to export canola seeds to China. The reasons for halting canola seed imports is unclear, as is how long the import restriction will be in place. The move comes against a backdrop of growing diplomatic tensions between China and Canada which have been ongoing for several weeks.

Exports of canola seed to the rest of the world remain relatively stable at close to $1.0 billion annually. That value has fluctuated between $700 million and $1.4 billion over the last ten years, mostly due to the movement of canola seed prices.

The value of total canola seed exports—including those to China—was approximately $1.7 billion last year. That compares to the all-item exports of over $100 billion, most of which were energy products.

Canola exports, graph​​

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