EU Commission may ban import of five Ukrainian agricultural products for rest of 2023

26 April, 07:28 PM
Ukrainian wheat will fall under the ban (Photo:REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)

Ukrainian wheat will fall under the ban (Photo:REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)

The European Commission may ban the import of five agricultural products from Ukraine until the end of the year, Ukrinform quoted EU Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski as saying on April 25.

The list will include corn, wheat, rapeseed, sunflower, and sunflower oil, he said.

“We’re very close to a good deal, which provides for a temporary ban on five products, as well as conducting an investigation in accordance with the safeguards provided for in the trade liberalization agreement with Ukraine,” he said.

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“These measures can be used until June 5 as these regulatory rules will no longer be valid from then. But we know that if the new rules are agreed, these temporary measures should also be extended, probably until the end of the year. The European Commission is open to such a possibility.”

Poland banned grain imports from Ukraine on April 15, caving to demands from Polish farmers who had protested against Ukrainian agriculture shipments for months.

The farmers claim that a significant part of Ukrainian grain does not transit further, remaining in Poland to flood the market and depress prices.

Later, Hungary and Slovakia also announced a temporary ban on the import of grain and oilseeds, along with other agricultural products from Ukraine. Bulgaria joined these countries on April 19, allowing only transit.

The European Union has slammed the bans, saying they contravene both EU and international law, said EU spokesperson for trade issues, Miriam Garcia Ferrer.

In fact, grain prices have been falling worldwide – not only in Poland. The price spiked last year due to Russia’s full scale-invasion of Ukraine and blockade of the country’s ports. A UN-brokered deal last year unblocked the shipments, allowing Ukraine to export grain again, and prices started to fall.

Ukraine and Poland reached an agreement to resume the transit of Ukrainian agricultural products. Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food announced on April 18.

Hungary announced on April 19 that it had banned imports of 25 types of agricultural products from Ukraine into the country, but then greenlit their transit under special conditions.

Romania has not restricted Ukrainian grain transit via its ports.

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