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China lifts Canadian pork export ban

25th Nov 2019 / By Alistair Driver

The ban on Canadian pork exports to China has been lifted, paving the way for Canadian producers to benefit from the Chinese import boom.

China suspended pork and other meat imports from Canada in June after an investigation revealed that batches of Canadian pork were accompanied by at least 188 counterfeit health certification documents.

The Chinese Embassy in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, said the Chinese Customs authorities had found ractopamine residues in a batch of pork products exported from Canada.

The ban came into place at a time of high political tensions between the countries, but the relationship between the two nations now seems to be improving, according to AHDB trainee analyst Charlie Reeve.

iT is not yet clear how quickly, or even if trade will return to previous levels but Mr Reeve predicted Canada’s exports to China could 'grow significantly, now that market access has been restored'.

During the first half of 2019, China was Canada’s largest export destination accounting for 171,000 tonnes of fresh/frozen pork. Despite the temporary interruption in trade, China is still the largest export destination for Canadian pork exports based on the first 9 months of 2019, accounting for 25% of total fresh/frozen exports.

Canada is the third largest exporter to China for the year-to-date, with Spain and Germany ahead of them.

"There were notable increases in fresh/frozen pork imports to China from the United States and Brazil during Q3, while Canada was banned. It is unclear how much of this market Canada will be able to win back now it has regained access," Mr Reeve said.

"During Q3, Canada did increase export volumes to some other markets to offset some of the exports that would have previously gone to China. Export volumes to Mexico, the Philippines and Taiwan all increased significantly on the previous quarter. Shipments to the US also recorded some small increases."

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