MADRID, SPAIN — Spain’s agriculture minister said he is pushing the European Commission to waive import controls on corn for animal feed as nations continue to grapple with fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Addressing a parliamentary commission on March 9, Minister Luis Planas said he asked the EC for flexibility to buy corn from third countries, particularly Argentina, the world’s second-largest corn exporter. Spain has stocks available but would need to make purchases within the next 60 days to maintain its supply while other countries already have moved forward.

Major buyers of animal feed corn, including the Benelux countries, Iberia, the Middle East and North Africa, rely on Ukraine as an important supplier of cattle feed. Since the Russian invasion, these buyers have turned to other European Union corn producers, particularly Romania, Bulgaria and France, to plug the gaps and are now looking further afield to lock in supplies.

With no date for discussion on the topic among European nations or a decision from Brussels and Spain’s corn stock due to run out within weeks, anxious Spanish feed industry groups have been pushing their government to sidestep EC rules and take unilateral action or risk losing out to other buyers.

However, a Spanish agricultural ministry spokesman said the EC must agree to any import exceptions and no unilateral move was possible.