Despite Russia’s war, Ukraine remains in third place among the most important exporters of agricultural products to the EU and ranks 14th among the most important importers of European agricultural products.
This is evidenced by the statistical summary of EU agricultural trade published on the website of the European Commission (EC), Ukrinform reports.
“Imports from Ukraine continued to be at a high level over the beginning of the year (+EUR 2.1 billion, +60% from January to May 2023, compared to the same period last year). It remains the third source of EU agri-food imports over the beginning of the year, with large increase in flows of cereals, oilseeds, poultry and eggs and sugar & isoglucose,” the report says.
As noted, Ukrainian agricultural exports to the EU increased from EUR 6.9 billion in 2021 to EUR 13.2 billion in 2022. From January to May 2023, the growth of agricultural imports from Ukraine to the EU amounted to 60% compared to the same period in 2022 (from EUR 3.5 billion to EUR 5.6 billion).
Ukraine remains an important destination for European agricultural exports, ranking 14th among the largest importers of European agricultural products. Agricultural imports from the EU to Ukraine in 2022 decreased compared to 2021 to EUR 2.9 billion (from EUR 3.1 billion). In the first five months of 2023, agricultural imports from the EU to Ukraine increased by 37% (+EUR 384 million), from EUR 1.3 billion in 2022 to EUR 1.4 billion this year.
As reported, after the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports, the EU created so-called solidarity lanes on the borders with Ukraine to transport Ukrainian food products, in particular grain and other foodstuffs, to world markets.
As a result of logistical problems, the increased flow of agricultural products from Ukraine has caused complications on the markets of 5 neighboring countries.
After consultations, the EC banned imports of wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds from Ukraine to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Romania at the insistence of these countries. On June 5, the ban was extended until September 15, 2023.
On July 19, the agriculture ministers of the five EU countries issued a joint statement in Warsaw insisting that the EC’s embargo on Ukrainian grain imports be extended until the end of 2023, while transit of grain will be allowed.
First Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yulia Svyrydenko emphasized that if the EC extends the ban on imports of Ukrainian grain after September 15, Ukraine may consider mirror measures.