A ship - carrying Canadian canola - and its crew get entangled in US-China Huawei battle

A canola crop on the Canadian prairies near Fort Macleod, Alberta, on July 11, 2011. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he believes canola is being used as a pawn in the US-China trade war.
A canola crop on the Canadian prairies near Fort Macleod, Alberta, on July 11, 2011. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he believes canola is being used as a pawn in the US-China trade war.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - Some of the people most eager to see a resolution in the US-China trade conflict may be the crew of a ship circling in the East China Sea.

The Amazon, laden with Canadian canola, has been travelling back and forth in the waters around Xiamen port for four weeks after leaving Vancouver on May 7, according to Bloomberg shipping data and a person familiar with the situation.

Chinese authorities have been repeatedly carrying out quality inspections on the cargo, the person said.

Canada has become embroiled in the trade spat after the country arrested Huawei Technologies chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou at the request of US authorities last year.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he believes canola is being used as a pawn in the trade war after China revoked the import licences of two canola exporters, detained two Canadians, and held soybean shipments at ports for inspections.

"The vessel could be the last canola cargo from Canada," said analyst Lu Yun at Shanghai JC Intelligence. "We expect there won't be any shipments in July."

In a further development, China this week banned pork imports from the North American nation after an investigation into traces of a prohibited feed additive led to the discovery of counterfeit health certificates.

 
 

Nobody replied to a fax sent to Chinese customs inquiring about the canola shipment.

China's imports of Canadian canola, used to make cooking oil for popular spicy Shichuan food, slumped almost 70 per cent in May from a year earlier as companies cut purchases from the country's largest supplier.

Any thaw in relations between the United States and Canada could potentially take some of the pressure off around Huawei.

As part of efforts to resolve the trade spat, Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping are due to meet on Saturday at the Group of 20 summit in Japan. Ahead of this meeting, China has also put American soybean purchases on hold while also asking US exporters to delay shipping soy cargoes it had agreed to purchase earlier this year.