Six Eastern European EU countries have again asked the European Commission for support against the market distortions caused by Ukrainian agricultural exports. It has been largely through their territory since the EU suspended most import tariffs on Ukrainian agricultural products last year.
Not a single EU country wants to reintroduce customs duties or quotas, as was revealed last Monday in the Agriculture Council, but duped EU farmers in the border regions must be helped.
Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic complain that much cheaper Ukrainian agricultural products are being marketed in their countries. As a result, their own farmers cannot sell their products.
The six countries demand that Ukrainian grains and oilseeds be transported directly to their final destination in third countries via transit routes. Wojciechowski reported that not only wheat, maize and oilseeds from Ukraine caused oversupply.
There are also problems in the poultry market. Imports are no longer limited by quota to 90,000 tonnes per year and almost doubled last year. France in particular complains about this. In Ukraine, one farm dominates about 70 percent of poultry production.
The European Commission is considering opening up the crisis reserve from the EU agricultural budget. Smaller payments could have a big impact on the mostly local problems, said Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski.
Storage aid is an instrument to remove the pressure from the markets in the short term. In that case, not all farmers in all EU countries will receive a small amount, but part of the crisis reserve will be used specifically.