Agriculture Minister István Nagy has confirmed that Hungary is banning imports of Ukrainian grain, oilseed and other farm products until June 30 to allow time for a "rethink" of European Union measures that have resulted in a glut in local markets.
Minister Nagy said exemptions for Ukrainian farm products from customs duties and quotas have flooded neighboring countries with cheap grain and oilseed, as well as large volumes of poultry, eggs and honey, making it “impossible” for farmers in Hungary and other Central European countries to sell their products. Farm sector players expect the European Union to ensure fair market conditions, he added. Nagy met his peers in countries neighbouring Ukraine on Friday and said that they were in “full agreement” on maintaining a united front to press for restrictions on exemptions from customs duties on the imports of agricultural products from Ukraine. Nagy called for quotas to be reintroduced for wheat, maize, sunflower, rapeseed and soybeans. The ministers are also asking the European Commission to buy unsold grain grown and stored in member states bordering Ukraine for humanitarian purposes, he added. The ministers will send a joint letter with their latest recommendations to the EC and discuss them at the next meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, Nagy said.