China will allow some Canadian canola seed imports to continue despite its year-long trade dispute with the country provided the amount of foreign material in shipments is limited, Reuters reported on 31 March.

Last March, China stopped buying canola from Canada’s two top exporters, Richardson International and Viterra Inc, citing insect and weed contamination in shipments, although it was suspected that the move was linked to Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou, vice president of Chinese technology firm Huawei.

Shipments from other Canadian firms were still allowed but an agreed standard between the two countries on the amount of foreign material allowed per shipment was due to expire on 31 March, Reuters said.

Canadian agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said on 31 March that Beijing would allow imports to continue provided shipments contained less than 1% foreign material such as straw or chaff.

However, the Canadian government said no agreement had been reached to allow Richardson and Viterra back into the Chinese canola seed market.

“Regaining full market access for Canadian canola seed remains our priority, and we continue to engage Chinese officials,” Bibeau said.

Canada is the world’s top canola supplier and China is its biggest market, and also the second largest buyer of Canadian canola oil and meal.