The European Commission will ban Ukrainian grain and oilseeds exports to Romania until June 5, Romanian Agriculture Minister Petre Daea said on Wednesday.
Romania has stopped short of enforcing a ban, whereas Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia took unilateral steps to protect local markets from a flow of Ukrainian farm products.
With access to its own Black Sea ports blocked and later limited by Russia’s invasion, Ukraine, one of the world’s leading grain exporters has had to find alternative shipping routes through neighbouring states.
Millions of tons of grains and oilseeds, cheaper than those produced in the European Union and exempt from customs tax, ended up in Central and Eastern Europe, with local farmers complaining demand and prices of local products were distorted.
Earlier this month, the European Commission said it would take emergency “preventive measures” for wheat, maize, sunflower seeds and rapeseed, compensating local farmers and only allowing grain to enter the five countries from Ukraine if they were set for export to other EU members or the rest of the world.
Daea said the Commission’s measures were conditioned by states’ withdrawing their unilateral bans. If an agreement won’t be reached, Daea said the Commission will move to ban exports specifically to Romania.
“Negotiations with the states are still ongoing,” Daea told reporters after meetings in Brussels and Luxembourg.
“Romania will be protected through a European Commission decision, and … will receive compensation for farmers.”
The European Union’s agriculture chief expressed optimism on Tuesday that countries neighbouring Ukraine will shortly accept a deal to allow Ukrainian grain to enter their countries for export elsewhere.
Source : Hellenic Shipping News