China’s canola ban already hitting producers

Decision to ban imports from Canadian company creates uncertainty in the market, says farmer

Sylvan Lake canola producer Mike Ammeter was at an agricultural conference in Montreal on Wednesday where news of China’s boycott spread like wildfire.

“News like this hits real fast and hard and it’s kind of the topic of the day,” said Ammeter, who was at the first-ever joint conference of the Canola Council of Canada and the Canadian grain council.

Canola markets also shuddered — with prices dropping — in the wake of China’s decision to block import from Richardson International Ltd., one of Canada’s largest grain exporters. China’s foreign ministry said the move is due to fears of insect infestation but there are suspicions it is retaliation against the Canadian government for arresting a top Huawei executive last December.

“It’s really concerning,” said Ammeter. “Canada relies on exports just a tremendous amount,” he said, adding about 40 per cent of Canada’s canola and related products are exported to China.

“Today, it’s one company, but whether this escalates we have no idea.”

One of the biggest impacts of moves like China’s is that creates uncertainty in the market, especially for big canola buyers.

“If they’re doing business in China and if all of a sudden China throws this at one company and suspends or halts their ability to trade, it certainly puts jitters into everybody.

“I think that’s reflected right away.”

One of the other producers at the conference told him that yesterday it was difficult for canola sellers to get any firm bids because of the uncertainty over where prices might go.

Premier Rachel Notley came out strongly against China’s move on Wednesday calling it wrong and unfair.

Seventy per cent of Alberta’s agri-food exports to China are canola-related products and canola contributes to the Canadian economy, she said. Alberta’s producers stand to lose hundreds of millions and up to 3,000 jobs could be lost if the impasse is not resolved.

Notley appealed directly to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to get involved.

“I’m calling on the prime minister to get back on the job and fight for our canola farmers and the jobs they support.

“We are calling on Ottawa to stop its navel-gazing about its internal controversies and fight back,” she said.

“We need certainty – and now, more than ever, we need Ottawa to be in Canada’s corner.”

Ammeter agreed with Notley.

“We would applaud her comments. She’s right. This is a huge part of our economy.”

Producers must rely on their organizations and especially the federal government, which must be pressured to resolve the situation.

With files from Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

WATCH: UCP leader Jason Kenney makes stop in Red Deer

A rally was held in the north end of the city Saturday afternoon

Good-bye ice and snow, hello potholes on Red Deer roads

City workers will be spending 20 hours a day on various road repairs

Fog advisory in effect for Red Deer, central Alberta

Heavy fog is affecting visibility for central Alberta drivers Saturday morning. A… Continue reading

Climate change’s impact on outdoor hockey discussed in Red Deer

Red Deer River Watershed Alliance held a forum Friday at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Collision between Red Deer transit bus and truck investigated by RCMP

No one on bus was hurt, truck driver had minor injuries

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Montreal priest stabbed during mass leaves hospital; suspect to be charged

MONTREAL — A Catholic priest who was stabbed as he was celebrating… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $35.7 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $35.7 million jackpot… Continue reading

New report details impact of proposed NS spaceport in event of explosion or fire

HALIFAX — The head of a company proposing to open Canada’s only… Continue reading

Quebec man convicted in Mafia-linked conspiracy deported to Italy

MONTREAL — Michele Torre, a Quebec man convicted in 1996 for his… Continue reading

Republican Karl Rove says conservatives need more than simplistic slogans

OTTAWA — Legendary Republican campaign strategist Karl Rove, known for his no-holds-barred… Continue reading

B.C. hospital’s use as shelter ‘clarion call’ about housing crisis, says mayor

The 10-bed regional hospital that serves the medical needs of 5,000 people… Continue reading

Puddle splashing: A rite of spring

Is there anything more fun than driving through water-filled potholes in the… Continue reading

Special evaluations can help seniors cope with cancer care

Before she could start breast cancer treatment, Nancy Simpson had to walk… Continue reading

Most Read