Strengthening Canada’s trade relationship with China positive for the canola industry

August 15, 2012

The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) is encouraged by International Trade Minister Ed Fast and his Chinese counterpart Minister of Commerce Chen Deming's joint release of a study highlighting economic complementarities between the two countries. The Canada-China Complementarities Study is an important step towards strengthening Canada and China's economic relationship through increased bi-lateral agreements.

"This is another positive step forward for Canada's trade relationship with China and for Canada's canola industry," says CCC president Patti Miller. "We support the federal government's efforts to strengthen our trading relationship with China as it holds the potential for improved market access that would benefit canola producers, crushers and exporters."

Canada's canola industry relies heavily on access to export markets, with over 85 percent of all production being exported as seed, oil or meal. Canola is Canada's top agricultural product to China, and China is a valuable and growing market for Canadian Canola. In 2011, Canadian sales of canola seed, oil and meal to China were in excess of $1.5 billion - representing more than 50% of Canadian agri-food exports to China. 

China maintains tariffs on canola seed, oil and meal imported into China - reducing the competitiveness of canola.  These tariffs tax our exports and discourage trade.  "Discussions toward a deeper economic relationship could provide a pathway for reducing tariffs and stimulating more trade with China," Miller says.

Canola is marketed on the basis of its superior health properties. Miller points out that more trade in canola will ensure that Chinese consumers have improved access to canola oil. Canola meal as a feed additive is proven to increase milk production in dairy cattle by up to one litre per cow per day.  Increased imports of Canadian canola and canola meal will be of value to Chinese dairy producers, says Miller.

The CCC is a full value chain organization representing the entire canola industry, including growers, seed developers, crushers and exporters. Canola is Canada's most valuable crop, generating over $15.4 billion in economic activity each year and is responsible for 228,000 jobs.

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For more information, media may contact:

Patti Miller, President
Canola Council of Canada
204-982-2109
millerp@canolacouncil.org

For background on the economic benefits of canola in Canada, click here.

For a video on canola trade with China, click here.