11:58 29 Nov 2023

European Commission finds no negative impact of Ukrainian agricultural exports on EU markets

Photo: Main Department of the State Production and Consumer Service in Cherkasy Region

The European Commission doesn't see significant negative consequences from Ukrainian agro-exports for European markets.

This issue was discussed in a meeting of the European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development in Brussels, Ukrinform reports.

During the meeting, members of parliament talked about supporting the export of agricultural products from Ukraine. They exchanged views with members of the European Commission about the risks for EU farmers due to the increasing supply of Ukrainian products.

"We monitor volumes, track price dynamics, import prices at the national level, as well as prices at the EU level, and we publish a monitoring report every two months. So far, we don't see any very significant negative consequences for the EU agricultural market," said Pierre Bascou, Director for Sustainable Development and Income Support at the Directorate-General for Agriculture of the European Commission.

The Commission is also working on developing "solidarity lanes" and reducing transit costs for Ukraine. The goal is for Ukraine to continue contributing to global food security and exporting its products to the EU and beyond.

According to MEPs, "solidarity lanes" have been crucial for the Ukrainian economy, allowing the export of over 108 million tons of goods and importing 38 million tons of other products, totaling €123 billion. These volumes significantly increased after the opening of the Black Sea route.

In October, out of the 4.5 million tons of grain and related goods exported from Ukraine, 3.2 million tons went through "solidarity lanes," and around 1.3 million tons went through the humanitarian Black Sea corridor.

However, MEPs emphasize the need to minimize the negative impact on European farmers. They acknowledge that the surge in exports to the EU, crucial for the Ukrainian economy, had an unpredictable effect on some regional markets in front-line EU countries and created pressure in certain sectors of the EU.

Vice President of the Agricultural Committee, Mazaly Aguilar, mentioned that Spanish ports are overflowing not only with grain from Ukraine but also from Russia, at incredibly low prices.

"With such pressure of imports, they cannot continue working. Clearly, we must show our solidarity with Ukraine but not at the expense of our grain producers," she said.

Aguilar also called on the Commission to take measures to prevent European wheat producers from going bankrupt.

At the same time, Spain, where this year's grain production fell by over 40% due to adverse weather conditions, currently has a sharp need for wheat.

MEPs believe that supporting the transit of Ukrainian grain through the EU to final markets is essential. Some also suggest that the World Food Programme could be more active in purchasing part of these grains.

Unlike grain, the import of Ukrainian sugar into Europe doesn't raise concerns. 

"Sugar prices exceed €800 per ton, which is extremely high historically. Therefore, in the EU, sugar production this year is estimated to reach about 15.6 million tons, meaning that import will be necessary," said committee chair Norbert Lins.

"We want to see Ukraine as a future EU member. It is a significant producer," said committee member Martin Häusling.

However, according to him, the EU needs a long-term plan balancing the protection of European producers and assistance to Ukraine: "We cannot expect the war to end in three months; we need to adapt to this situation."

As a reminder, in September, the European Commission announced that it would not extend restrictions on the import of agricultural products from Ukraine after September 15, but Kyiv agreed to take measures to limit imports from its side.


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