May 6, 2019
China stops pork imports from Canadian companies as diplomatic spat continues
Canada's agricultural minister confirmed last week that China has stopped pork imports from two Canadian companies as both nations continue to be embroiled in a diplomatic spat over the arrest of a Chinese executive of telecommunication giant Huawei, Reuters reported.
Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a Reuters interview that she has not received an official notice from China of the permit suspensions, and would not identify the companies involved. While she was not able to explain the reason for the suspension, she described the matter as "administrative" and could be resolved "easily."
However, a document posted to the website of China's General Administration of Customs dated April 30 and reviewed by Reuters showed that imports from Canadian meat producers Olymel LP and Drummond Export have been suspended.
"(China) will suspend imports of pork products shipped since April 30 by Canadian companies with codes 270A and 254," the document said, without providing further details.
According to China's Certification and Accreditation Administration, 270A and 254 are the codes for Olymel LP and Drummond Export.
Olymel LP spokesman Richard Vigneault confirmed that the company's plant in Red Deer, Alberta, has been unlisted for exporting pork to China. He said he did not know the reason behind China's action.
Canada-China relations recently took a hit after Canadian authorities arrested Huawei Technologies' chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, on a US warrant. Since then, China has arrested two Canadians and halted canola imports from two Canadian companies.
Canada, the world's third-largest pork exporter, has shipped more pork this year to China, where the domestic pig herd has been ravaged by African swine fever (ASF). China bought CAD514 million (US$382.5 million) worth of Canadian pork in 2018.