Canada relented Thursday and allowed the United States to resume durum wheat shipments through the St. Lawrence Seaway, a key export route for grain grown in the northern plains.
Canada blocked the shipments last week, citing the discovery of the wheat fungus Karnal bunt in the southwestern United States.
Canada agreed to allow U.S. durum to move through the seaway as long as it is not unloaded in Canadian ports, the Agriculture Department said. The move could affect about half the U.S. durum that moves through the seaway.
The agreement followed consultations Wednesday between scientists from the two countries.
“The Clinton administration will continue to work closely with the Canadian government and our overseas customers to assure the uninterrupted movement of U.S. grain in international trade,” said Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman.
American grain shippers have had trouble booking vessels out of Duluth, Minn., because of the Canadian ban.
“This solves … a significant part of the problem for us. At least it’s a major step forward,” said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.