Canadian soybeans become latest victim in China trade spat

20 May, 2019 12:00 AM printer

WINNIPEG: Canadian soybean shipments are being held in Chinese ports for inspections, signalling that tensions spurred by the arrest of a top Huawei executive last year are expanding beyond canola.

Members of Canada's soybean association were informed by Chinese importers that two cargoes will be held at the port of entry until a number of tests for plant pathogens have been performed. That's part of heightened scrutiny of all shipments of soybeans to China, report agencies.

"It has come to our attention that there are strengthened inspection measures occurring for Canadian products at ports in China," Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in an emailed statement Friday.

"We are seeking further details from China on this issue and we are working with Soy Canada."

The more stringent inspections, reported by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, come after China revoked the canola seed import licenses of two Canadian exporters and China detained two Canadians. That follows the December arrest in Canada of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou at the request of US authorities. Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he believes Canadian canola is being used as a pawn in the ongoing trade war between the US and China.