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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - China has agreed to continue accepting Canadian canola, while the two countries work on a long-term solution to a nearly two-year-old trade dispute, Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said on Tuesday.
In 2009, China restricted imports of Canadian canola seed with the fungal disease blackleg, but later allowed shipments to designated Chinese ports away from China's rapeseed growing areas.
That market access was to expire after the 2010/11 crop marketing year, which ends in Canada on July 31.
"This is tremendous news for our canola producers and processors and is a testament to our strong and collaborative working relationship with China," Ritz said in a statement.
Canada is the world's leading shipper of canola, which is crushed to make vegetable oil and livestock feed.
China is a key buyer of Canadian canola, albeit in varying volumes from year to year, and a major importer of canola oil.
Reporting by Rod Nickel