China to partly lift ban on Canada canola imports-: traders

Thu Mar 1, 2012 11:06am EST
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By Niu Shuping and Ken Wills

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese quarantine authorities will allow imports of Canadian canola by some selected crushers located in major growing areas, partially lifting a ban it imposed because of fungal disease concerns, traders said on Thursday.

The import relaxation, likely to be cleared in the second half of the year, would further boost canola imports from the world's largest exporter of canola/rapeseed to China later in the year.

ICE Canada canola futures rose 11.6 percent in February, the biggest monthly gain since June 2010, on tight supplies and strong export demand.

On Thursday, canola slipped in early trading with other grains on profit-taking, but ICE Canada traders said eased Chinese restrictions would support the market.

China's quarantine bureau will allow nine crushers in the country's major rapeseed-growing provinces of Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu, Shandong and Zhejiang to import Canadian canola, several traders said.

Another nine crushers outside major growing areas in the provinces of Fujian, Guangxi, Liaoning have received authorization to continue to import, they said.

China has restricted imports of Canadian canola since 2009 and only allowed shipments to areas away from the country's major growing areas on worries over the spread of the fungal disease blackleg.

Canada's government said canola exports to China totaled C$1.8 billion ($1.9 billion) in 2010.   Continued...