BUDAPEST, HUNGARY — The Hungarian Grain and Feed Association is opposing the country’s ban on grain and oilseed imports from Ukraine, saying the restrictions will hurt feed makers and industrial users in Hungary, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the group.
According to the association, the ban on grains and oilseeds means feed manufacturers will lose access to the “closest and therefore most economical source of raw material” for their industry in a nation whose inflation rate is the highest in Europe. “This measure will cause significant difficulties to Hungarian feed makers and industrial users, which will affect livestock farmers and consumers.”
The association’s statement came after Hungary banned the import of some 25 agricultural products from Ukraine on April 15, including grains such as cereals, rapeseed and sunflower seeds, joining fellow European Union countries Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia with restrictions.
The countries became transit routes for Ukrainian grain that could not be exported through the country’s Black Sea ports because of Russia’s invasion in February 2022. Bottlenecks trapped millions of tonnes of grains in countries bordering Ukraine, prompting complaints from local farmers who said they have been forced to compete with an influx of cheap Ukrainian imports.
The European Commission, which oversees trade policy for the 27-member EU, has been preparing a financial support package for farmers and other “preventive measures” for certain categories of grain and oilseeds, particularly wheat, maize, sunflower seeds and rapeseed. Under its rules, the EU also may limit the import of products into the whole or part of the bloc, while still allowing transit. The proposal is subject to the countries lifting unilateral measures, the commission said.