Germany to help Ukraine resume agrifood exports to int’l markets – German govt minister

Germany welcomes a compromise achieved through a dialogue between European Council representatives on extending the autonomous trade measures for admitting Ukrainian agrarian products to the European market and will continue to help Ukraine normalize its exports to global markets, including to countries of the Global South, German Agriculture Minister Cem Ozdemir said before a meeting of the European Union’s Agriculture and Fisheries Council configuration (AGRIFISH) in Brussels on Tuesday.

“I welcome the compromise that enjoyed massive support in Germany. We were interested in ensuring the continuation of Ukrainian exports of agricultural products, primarily to destinations in the Global South, where food products are needed urgently,” Ukrainian media quoted Ozdemir as saying.

That said, Berlin called for excluding wheat from the list of sensitive products, he said.

Ozdemir described the compromise as “reasonable,” as it simultaneously promotes the EU agricultural sector’s and Ukraine’s interests.

As reported, the European Parliament and the European Council on Monday reached a provisional deal on renewing the suspension of import duties and quotas on Ukrainian exports to the EU until June 5, 2025, while also providing for protective measures for farmers in EU countries.

“These unilateral trade liberalization measures will help stabilize the Ukrainian economy and facilitate the country’s gradual integration into the EU’s internal market,” the European Parliament said in a statement on its website.

In the instance of significant disruption to the EU market or the markets of one or more EU countries due to Ukrainian imports, for instance wheat, the European Commission will be empowered to take swift action and impose any measures it deems necessary, it said.

As part of reinforced safeguard measures aimed at protecting its farmers, the EU may apply an emergency brake for particularly sensitive agricultural products, i.e. poultry, eggs, sugar, oats, groats, maize, and honey. Negotiators agreed to extend the reference period used as a base for employing this automatic safeguard, it said.

However, if imports of these products rise above the average of import volumes recorded in the second half of 2021 over the whole of 2022 and 2023, tariffs would be reviewed. The European Commission also committed to step up its monitoring of imports of grain, particularly wheat, it said.

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