MADRID, SPAIN — As major grain importers in Europe and Africa scramble to fill gaps in the supply chain caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Spain announced March 14 it would approve emergency purchases of corn from Argentina for animal feed, Reuters reported.

Spain, a major buyer of feed corn from Ukraine, had been pushing the European Commission to waive import controls as other nations that rely on Ukraine began buying corn from other markets. Argentina is the world’s second-largest corn exporter behind the United States.

On March 11, the relevant committee of the European Commission authorized member states to lift some technical restrictions linked to the existing maximum pesticide residue limit for animal feed with "full guarantee and safety of the agri-food trade," said Luis Planas, agriculture minister of Spain.

"Today (March 14) we will meet with the import sector, and we hope in the next few hours to issue a resolution that will allow us to overcome this technical hurdle," he said.

Planas added that there were no obstacles to also allow imports of corn for animal feed from the United States.