Sunday, June 10, 2012

Canadians make a big sale to China



China has agreed to buy 12 million pounds of Canadian tobacco from the crop currently in the field. That volume would amount to roughly a quarter of the 2011 Ontario’s crop. The sale will take place through Grand River Enterprises, a cigarette manufacturer on the Six Nations native Canadian reservation in southern Ontario. It is believed that new production will be contracted in the traditional production area of southern Ontario among traditional growers, although some who have exited the crop may have to come back. Grand River Enterprises owns a leaf processing plant in Simcoe and is expected to fill the Chinese order from it.

The sale appears overdue to some observers, since the bright leaf Ontario growers produce always seemed a good fit for the Chinese demand for “lemon” leaf. Grand River Enterprise delegations visited China three times last year and found officials there mistakenly believed tobacco was no longer grown in Canada, president Steve Williams told the Simcoe (Can.) Observer. “[But] the Ontario tobacco growing industry is starting to work again. We’re looking forward to a very long working relationship.” Almost all Canadian tobacco is flue-cured and almost all is grown in Ontario.

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