China may resume imports of Canadian meat as bilateral ties show signs of warming-up
China in June suspended Canadian meat imports due to counterfeited veterinary health certificates which were attached to a batch of meat products. Experts noted that if Canadian meat could meet the standard of the Chinese market, and if Canada could show a positive attitude toward the bilateral relations, it would be reasonable to resume imports.
"China is the major market for Canadian meat, which has been in a surplus situation," Li Guoxiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
The suspension imposed four months ago came amid a stressful situation for China's tech giant Huawei, with its CFO Meng Wanzhou having being arrested in Canada by US request. China has been urging Canada to release Meng since her arrest last December.
Any follow-up shipments may depend on the development of Meng's case, which has cast a shadow over China-Canada ties, Jiao Shanwei, editor-in-chief of grain news website cngrain.com, told the Global Times.
China, the second-largest market for Canadian pork and the fifth largest for beef, is a key trading partner for Canada; Canadian meat products have made significant gains in China over recent years, according to a statement from the Canadian Meat Council (CMC) on Tuesday.
"Our long-standing trade relationship with China is very important to both sides and this represents an important step for both countries," said Chris White, president of the CMC, in the statement.
Canadian companies anticipate a boost in exports to China, assisted by the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) which is running from Tuesday to Sunday, and they hope to see a more stable bilateral relationship in the future to provide better support for trade, said a Canadian agricultural company representative on the eve of the trade fair.
Resuming the imports could ease pork supplies in the Chinese market to some extent, given the recent tight domestic supply due to African Swine Fever, Jiao pointed out. "However, Canada is not the main source of China's meat imports and China has also been expanding imports from different countries."