China Holding Up Canadian Shipments of Soybeans, Canola

Chinese purchases of Canadian soybeans have “slowed to a trickle,” according to the Financial Post. Those purchases have dropped 95 percent in the first few months of 2019 because of tensions between Ottawa and Beijing.

The purchase decline comes in addition to Chinese authorities ramping up pre-entry inspections of shipments from Canada. Soybean shipments from Canada to China plunged to just 3,282 tons between January and March, down from just shy of 73,000 tons during the same period a year ago.

The sudden drop in exports is even more eye-opening when compared to Chinese purchases late last year. China purchased a record 3.2 million tons of Canadian soybeans over the last four months of 2018.

“Trade with China fell off a cliff,” says Ron Davidson, Executive Director of Soy Canada. “They slowed to a trickle after December. Now, exporters are being told that their shipments are being held for further testing and that China is testing for things it never has before.”

China also stripped the import permits of two Canadian canola exporters. They’ve also halted more purchases of canola over concerns about “prohibited pests” found in shipments.