Ukrainian grain floods the markets: Hungary and CEE countries enraged
The leaders of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria have turned to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, asking her to take immediate steps to “handle the untenable situation caused by growing imports of Ukrainian grain into Europe”, Agriculture Minister István Nagy said on Saturday.
The letter signed by the Bulgarian president and the prime ministers of the other four countries noted that the markets of neighbouring countries have been swamped by unprecedented amounts of grain and nuts from Ukraine. Due to “failed Brussels sanctions”, farmers in those states have already been hit hard by growing energy prices and input costs, the letter noted.
Large quantities of poultry, eggs and honey are also being imported from Ukraine, which are exempt from customs on all agricultural products, depressing prices below Hungarian producers’ production costs, Nagy added. The signatories proposed that the EU funding be raised for struggling regions and new resources added to bolster the costs the Common Agricultural Policy cannot fund, he added.
Here is the minister’s post in the issue:
The EC should also consider buying the grain produced in regions near the Ukrainian border to help farmers struggling to sell their products, he said. Long-term, signatories proposed re-introducing customs on Ukrainian agricultural products should the situation prove to be impossible to handle otherwise, he said. “The EU should avoid harming itself and its farmers more than it helps Ukraine, similarly to what happened regarding the sanctions against Russia,” he said, calling on the EC to avoid “making the farmers of border countries pay for solidarity with Ukraine.”