Posted: 08.02.2023 16:58:00

Separating grain

The consequences of EU sanctions against Russia are repeatedly disputed — but solidarity measures for Ukraine could also have disadvantages for the EU economy


According to eastern EU states, cheap grain from Ukraine is increasingly causing problems for farmers. Because of the easier trade with Ukraine, significantly more feed and food reached Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia in particular, as can be seen from a joint paper by these EU countries.
“Currently, there are growing indications that this increase, if left unchecked, could create serious difficulties for EU producers in the agricultural sector,” it says.
According to the six countries, the effects in the grain sector are particularly serious. According to this, between January and November 2022, e.g., corn imports from Ukraine to neighbouring EU countries rose from a few thousand tonnes to several million tonnes compared to previous years.
In order to prevent large quantities of grain from Ukraine from being lost to the world market because of the hostilities, the EU created so-called ‘solidarity lanes’, thereby facilitating transport routes and border controls for products from the Eastern European country.
However, as it now turns out, some of the Ukrainian grain did not make it onto the world market, but instead pushed domestic products out of national markets as cheap animal feed, complain the above-mentioned countries in Eastern Europe.
According to the RMF24 portal, groups of Polish farmers blocked lorries at several border crossings with Ukraine to protest the entry into Poland of ‘poor quality’ and loss-making Ukrainian grain. One of the protesters said that the action had become a ‘popular veto’ and a ‘peasant uprising’.
The European Commission is mulling over reconsidering the special suspension for all tariffs and quotas on Ukrainian agri-food exports over the coming weeks after complaints that an influx of agricultural goods is putting EU farmers at a disadvantage.

Based on the material of