Farm product exports not damaging EU markets, says Ukraine

Pick-up of shipments via Black Sea should ease concerns
calendar icon 15 February 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Ukraine's agricultural exports through eastern Europe have not damaged these markets despite protests by farmers, and a pick-up of shipments via the Black Sea should help ease their concerns, Reuters reported, citing Ukraine's trade representative on Wednesday.

Ukraine's EU neighbours - Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia - have complained that the farm imports have upset their markets, leading to protests by farmers and truckers.

Ukrainian Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka recognised that a surge of exports through eastern Europe, because Russia's invasion hampered traditional shipments by sea, had led to fears and criticism that Ukrainian products do not meet EU food safety standards.

"For us this is strange, because we believe that for no product are we squeezing EU farmers in their domestic markets," he told journalists between meetings in Brussels.

The European Commission proposed two weeks ago measures to limit Ukraine's exports of poultry, eggs and sugar, with possible temporary curbs on other farm produce such as grains. The proposal requires approval by EU governments and the European Parliament.

Kachka pointed to a pick-up of shipments via the Black Sea since a corridor was set up in August 2023. Ukraine exported 14.3 metric tones of agricultural products via this route in the first six months, with January levels almost at pre-war levels.

"We believe that the issue of grains, all cereals and commodities, is over with Poland," Kachka said.

He said that the EU needed to move beyond temporary trade liberalisation by 2025 or 2026 and convince farmers and politicians that duties or quotas were not needed.

"What we need to do is ensure that everyone is aware that we comply with EU rules in production," Kachka said, expressing hope that a solution could be found by the end of 2024.

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.