Import of Ukrainian grain banned for another 30 days

George Marinescu
English Section / 19 septembrie

Import of Ukrainian grain banned for another 30 days

The decision has no effect on the quantities of grain that are in transit in our country

Versiunea în limba română

The import of Ukrainian grains will be banned in our country for the next 30 days, Florin Barbu, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said yesterday, who said he would sign an order to this effect.

"I can assure you that, starting from Friday, September 15, not a single grain has entered the Romanian customs and we are ready, we have a document prepared, to make the best decisions for Romanian farmers, but we are also waiting for the decisions that will come from Ukraine. (...) As the European Commission also said, if they do not come up with the plan of measures and the licensing for agricultural products - we are talking about the four: corn, wheat, rapeseed, barley - then the Commission said that it will prohibits import until December 31. We are waiting 30 days for him to come up with that action plan. During the 30 days, no beans will enter the territory of Romania. We didn't give them a deadline. In 72 hours they had to come up with the plan of measures and in 30 days they have to talk with each state for the export licenses, in all five states of the European Union", said Minister Florin Barbu, who specified that the said ban does not applies to the transit of Ukrainian grain.

The Minister of Agriculture also said:

"I can assure you that the export of grain by Romanian farmers is fine, grain has been exported and at the moment we have berths in the Port of Constanţa that are intended for the export of grain to Romanian farmers. We are waiting for this plan of measures until midnight today, and if it is not sent, we are ready at any moment to protect the work of Romanian farmers and the cereals they produced".

Moreover, Florin Barbu had a meeting with the Romanian farmers last night in which he assured them that he had taken all the measures to protect their crops.

Regarding the situation regarding Ukrainian grain imports, Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said that he discussed it with his Ukrainian counterpart.

"Until this moment, since the Commission made the decision not to extend the ban, not a single kilogram of wheat or anything else has been imported into Romania (...). It was a gentlemen's agreement between me and the Prime Minister of Ukraine, which we both respected. There has been no request in any customs to export grain from Ukraine to Romania until this moment. In case there will be requests to export to Romania, I will definitely ask the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Economy to make a joint order, that for a period of 30 days, until things are clarified, the import restriction will be extended" , Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu also declared, after the weekly meeting with the other PSD leaders.

Before the statement of the Minister of Agriculture, the Forum of Professional Farmers and Processors in Romania (FAPPR) sent an open letter to the Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu, the Minister Florin Barbu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Luminiţa Odobescu and the Minister of Finance Marcel Boloş expressing their extreme concern about the immediate effects and the long-term consequences of the lifting of the ban on Ukrainian grain imports in Ukraine's five neighboring EU states.

"We have repeatedly drawn attention to the fact that the policy of liberalizing commercial exchanges with basic agricultural products has turned against Ukraine's closest neighbors, those who have decisively contributed to helping the state under Russian aggression. Significantly cheaper than equivalent grains in EU states, Ukrainian grain imports penetrated deeply into these markets and exported the effects of the war, helping to erode business in agriculture. (...) FAPPR and its member associations have never traded their pro-European convictions. In the face of solidarity for Ukraine, we didn't put our feet up and we didn't campaign for the closure of the access roads. We continue to support the granting of transit of goods of Ukrainian origin through our country (although, here too, it is imperative to find appropriate solutions, given that, following Russia's withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Export Agreement, Romania becomes the key logistics platform for export of these goods despite its totally inadequate capacity to handle additional volumes). However, with regard to the lifting of bans imposed on Ukraine, until mid-September, on the export of a number of agricultural goods to the markets of the region, at this twelfth hour, we feel compelled to draw your attention to your moral obligation to act vigorously to protect Romanian farmers and their fellow citizens, the consumers, from a possible disaster!", the quoted document states.

Farmers' representatives say that the first consequence of lifting the ban on Ukrainian grain imports would be the rapid conclusion of import contracts between domestic operators and exporters from Ukraine, which will send a signal to the market and lead to a rapid drop in prices at the farm gate in Romania, prices that already, at present, hardly cover the costs of production.

They also state that the voluntary limitation of exports from Ukraine is extremely difficult to implement and monitor, not to mention that they should be implemented within 30 days, enough time to conclude contracts that will lead to the transaction of significant volumes of cereals, accompanied by the drop in prices on the Romanian market.

That is why Romanian farmers claim that there is a need for another extension of the ban on Ukrainian grain imports in our country and they claim that the support measures granted by the Romanian state, as compensation for the losses suffered, are not a real solution.

Protest at the borders

Also yesterday, road traffic in the border areas of Giurgiu - Ruse, Calafat - Vidin, Vama Veche - Durankulak and Negru Voda - Kardam was blocked for several minutes by the Bulgarian farmers, who passed with their tractors near the border crossing points, as a sign of protest against the decision of the government in Sofia to lift the ban on grain imports from Ukraine. Participants in the protest came with banners that read "The system is killing us!".

Milen Koev, president of the "Danube Wheat" Regional Union of Farmers, quoted by the Rador agency, said: "We are working at a loss. About 80-90% of producers are in loss because wheat, sunflower and maize productions are low and prices are low. We are currently selling below the cost of production, and this may lead to a collapse of Bulgarian production."

For his part, Sinan Veisal, the regional coordinator for Russia of the Chamber for the Fruit and Vegetable Sector, said, also for the cited source, that farmers have been having problems for several years and are struggling to survive. According to him, the price of a kilogram of frozen raspberries imported from Ukraine is 1.20 euros, and in Bulgaria 2.00 leva is offered for picking a kilogram of raspberries.

The Bulgarian protesters have several demands: the reintroduction of the import ban on sunflower, wheat, corn and rapeseed from Ukraine, as well as the introduction of a ban on the import of unrefined oil, fruits and vegetables, milk, meat, livestock and honey from that country; payment to farmers, by September 30, 2023, of the full amount of compensation for the increase in production costs due to the war in Ukraine and the removal of the aid ceiling; 100% compensation to farmers for production lost as a result of natural disasters,

We remind you that due to the losses caused to farmers in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, the European Commission decided in the spring to suspend these imports, a suspension that was extended on June 15 until September 15.

Last Friday, Brussels officials established the lifting of the ban, but also the obligation of Ukraine to present a plan of measures to counteract the losses of farmers in the respective countries, measures that should be discussed with the authorities of the five states. Dissatisfied with the Commission's decision, the governments of Warsaw and Budapest decided to maintain the ban on Ukrainian grain imports until December 31, 2023 inclusive.

Cotaţii Internaţionale

vezi aici mai multe cotaţii

Bursa Construcţiilor