Ukraine’s farming lobby seeks extension of EU favorable trade regime for agricultural products

The extension of the European Union’s favourable conditions for imports and transit of Ukrainian agricultural products, which expire on June 5, 2023, are important for Ukraine, because the agricultural sector is a key element of the country’s economy, a mainstay of its exports and a guarantor of forex revenue from trade, the Ukrainian Agrarian Council (UAC) was reported as saying by Ukrainian media.

UAC head Andrei Dykun asked the chairman of the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Norbert Lins about extending this favorable regime in an online meeting, the UAC said on its website.

Ukraine is asking for the extension of the special export regime because Poland has proposed to reinstate previous duties on Ukrainian corn, apples and chicken, as well as impose strict control over grain, including feed grain, imported from Ukraine, the UAC said.

The elimination of the favorable conditions for Ukrainian producers would be a blow to the country’s economy and a threat to its future, Dykun was reported as saying in the UAC appeal to Lins.

He also cited data showing that agricultural commodities became Ukraine’s main export in 2022 and a guarantor of forex revenue. Agricultural products accounted for 53% of total exports and generated $23 billion in forex revenue.

Lins said that the absolute majority of European Parliament members support the course of liberalizing the EU market that has been chosen for Ukraine, despite all the resulting difficulties, such as for Poland. Exports of Ukrainian grain are bringing down prices for their products, he said.

This problem exists, so ways to resolve it and instruments to possibly compensate the losses of Polish farmers will be sought so as to continue to help Ukraine, the UAC reported Lins as saying.

Dykun and Lins agreed that Ukraine cannot fully export grain only through its ports on the Black Sea and is forced to ship through Poland, which affects the domestic markets of neighboring countries.

They also discussed the creation of an international fund for the restoration of Ukraine’s agricultural sector, the UAC said.

The European Parliament in May 2022 supported the lifting of EU import duties on all Ukrainian exports for one year in order to support the country’s economy.

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