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Hungary Wants EU To Extend Ukrainian Grains Import Ban

By Reuters
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Hungary Wants EU To Extend Ukrainian Grains Import Ban

Hungary wants the EU's ban on domestic sales of Ukrainian grain to be extended in the five EU member states bordering Ukraine after the current measure ends on 15 September, prime minister Viktor Orban's chief of staff has said.

"Hungary will ask the EU to extend the ban from 16 September," Gergely Gulyas said, adding Hungary was ready to reimpose a national import ban if the EU does not extend the measure.

The European Union in May allowed Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia to ban domestic sales of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seeds, while permitting transit of such cargoes for export elsewhere. This ban is set to expire on 15 September.

Poland has said it would not lift the ban even if the EU does not agree on its extension.

Unilateral Bans

Before the EU measure, the central European countries imposed unilateral bans early this year on Ukrainian grain imports to protect their domestic producers, after a surge in Ukrainian grain exports into the five states in 2022 and early 2023.

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The current EU deal to protect farmers in the five states is due to expire next month and the central European countries want it to be extended at least until the end of the year.

Read More: Why The EU Is Restricting Grain Imports From Ukraine

Ukraine's grain exports have totalled 2.98 million metric tonnes so far in the 2023/24 July-June season, latest data from the agriculture ministry showed.

Exports have been affected since Russia quit a United Nations-backed grain deal last month but the ministry's data did not give a breakdown on exports since the deal collapsed.

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