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Chinese inscrutability

Has China rejected both Canadian and Australian canola shipments?

Is it all about blackleg, or is it also “other things?”

Are the Chinese worried about blackleg because they’re secretly buying our canola seeding and using it as seed for their own crops?’

These are some of the questions being batted around by traders today as they react to news that China may have rejected a cargo of Canadian canola due to blackleg contamination. As always, in the first hours after a story or rumour gets going, speculation runs wild and as the tale gets told and retold along the trenchline, details change and shift and the story at the end can be quite a lot different from the one at the beginning.

So some time in the next couple of days it should become what and why China rejected something, and until then we can chatter away harmlessly. No matter what, we’ll never never know why the Chinese have really done whatever they’ve done. They are famously discrete about revealing what they’re thinking and why they’re doing something. Maybe the chatter’s not so harmless, because canola’s down $10 per tonne this morning and most are attributing that to all the talk about China and its inscrutable canola intentions.

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