19 Sep 2022 7:29 p.m
Grain from Ukraine is not only exported to Africa or the Middle East, but also reaches the markets of the countries of the European Union. However, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, EU farmers cannot compete with cheap imports.
The influx of cheap Ukrainian grain and poultry is making it difficult for European Union farmers to break even, according to a report by the European Union Wall Street Journal from Friday.
Meanwhile, those countries that were supposed to benefit from a UN-brokered agreement on the safe transportation of grain and sunflower oil from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports are not getting the food they desperately need.
Jan Bieniasz, manager of an agricultural cooperative in the Polish village of Łąka, told the newspaper:
“I’m very much in favor of helping Ukraine, but I think the EU has opened Pandora’s box.”
In his statement, Bieniasz was referring to the European Commission’s decision to abolish tariffs and quotas to allow Kyiv, amid the conflict with Russia, to export its grain overland and from European ports. For this purpose, among other things, the establishment of the so-called “solidarity corridors” for the transport of agricultural products from the Polish-Ukrainian border to the ports on the Baltic Sea was announced. But much of it destined for transit and export to the Middle East and Africa may end up on the market in Poland, depressing local grain prices.
The move by the EU Commission has resulted in the countries of the European Union being flooded with cheaper agricultural goods. As a comparison, the US business daily cites that while EU wheat and corn generally sell for US$324 and US$307 per tonne respectively, wheat and corn from Ukraine cost around US$272 and US$251 respectively.
The head of the Bulgarian Union of Grain Producers, Iliya Prodanov, also described a similar situation in his country in his comment to the US newspaper, noting that Ukrainian farmers do not have to comply with the same environmental regulations as their EU counterparts. Farmers in several Bulgarian cities protested against Ukrainian agricultural imports on Wednesday.
French poultry farmers have made similar complaints, pointing out that chicken imports from Ukraine more than doubled in the first half of 2022. At the same time, they called on the EU not to extend the agreement to eliminate tariffs. The Ukrainian goods are not only displacing the products of the local farmers, but are also taking up the necessary space in the ports, explained Ertwa Cristian Gavrila from the Romanian trade organization PRO AGRO Wall Street Journal opposite to.
The report alleges that Kyiv blames Poland for slowing down the flow of exports at the border, accusing the authorities of deliberately delaying deliveries and delaying hygiene checks. Accordingly, Kyiv has also agreed to send Ukrainian officials to speed things up. Polish officials, for their part, have insisted they act as soon as possible, the US newspaper said.
Grain exports from Ukraine rose 66 percent last month, according to the report. Earlier in July, the so-called Grains Agreement brokered by the United Nations and Turkey was signed in Istanbul. This is intended to ensure safe passage through the Black Sea for Ukrainian cargo. However, most of these shipments went to Europe and other high-income countries, rather than to poor countries grappling with a looming food crisis. But the agreement was intended to alleviate precisely that crisis.
more on the subject – Moscow accuses the West of breaking agreements in the “grain agreement”.