According to eastern EU countries, cheap grain from Ukraine is increasingly causing problems for farmers. Because of the easier trade with Ukraine in the course of the Russian war of aggression, 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.
Consultations in Brussels
The agriculture ministers of the EU countries are discussing the consequences of the war and possible solutions at a meeting in Brussels today. According to the six countries, the effects in the grain sector are particularly serious. According to this, between January and November 2022, for example, corn imports from Ukraine to neighboring EU countries rose from a few thousand tons to several million tons compared to previous years.
In order to prevent large quantities of grain from Ukraine from being lost to the world market because of the war, 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.
Take care of your own markets
"It is important not to let up in the expansion of the EU solidarity lanes, so that the Ukrainian grain ends up where the solidarity lanes end: at the EU ports for onward transport to the countries of destination," said a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture Agriculture of the German Press Agency.
In their paper, the six EU states emphasize that they are prepared to continue to support Ukraine in the agricultural sector if this does not have a negative impact on their own markets. In addition, they believe that local farmers who are affected should be compensated.
According to the EU Commission, before the Russian war of aggression, Russia and Ukraine together supplied around 34 percent of the wheat for the world markets.