Hungary grain producers incomes cut by 37% due to Ukrainian grain
Hungarian Agriculture Minister Istvan Nagy says grains from Ukraine put local producers out of business due to the use of methods uncommon to the EU and temporary duty-free arrangments.
Hungarian Agriculture Minister Istvan Nagy revealed that grain producers have lost between 23% to 37% of their income due to the huge influx of cheap Ukrainian grain into the country, as per Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet.
Grain imports from Ukraine jumped from 40,000-60,000 tonnes to 2.5 million tonnes, the Minister said.
"According to the generalized data, the total amount of Ukrainian grain and oil cultures was 2.5 million tonnes last year, of which 1.8 million tonnes is direct import and 0.7 million tonnes is indirect. Just to understand how big this amount and the problem caused by it are: in the previous years regular Ukrainian import was around 40,000-60,000 tonnes a year," Nagy stated.
The Hungarian official said that most of the products imported from Ukraine for the purpose of transit to the European Union remain in the country.
In his interview with Magyar Nemzet, the Minister said, "According to our price system data, the producer price of edible wheat in Hungary without value-added tax and transportation cost is 27% lower than a year ago, the price of fodder wheat is 37% lower, and fodder corn is 23% lower."
Ukraine has also taken advantage of temporary duty-free arrangements with the EU to export other food products including honey, poultry, and eggs, which has put Hungarian producers out of business.
Nagy says that Ukrainian farmers are not abiding by EU regulations when growing grains, which allows them to save costs and sell at a much more competitive price than Hungarian farmers.
The Hungarian National Food Chain Safety Office found cases of mycotoxins infections and genetically modified grains within Ukrainian produce.
European countries to ban Ukrainian grain
Hungary followed in the footsteps of Poland and banned grain imports from Ukraine on Sunday.
Budapest did not release further details on the starting date of the ban but highlighted that it expires at the end of June and hoped the EU reforms its tariff regulations regarding Ukraine and reconsiders the no import-tax policy.
Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger announced on Monday that Slovakia would join in on suspending grain imports from Ukraine.
The Prime Ministers of Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia sent a joint open letter to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, in late March, urging her to take action to mitigate the negative impacts of Ukrainian food imports. In addition, Several Polish farmer associations have been opposing the unchecked influx of cheap Ukrainian grain since the beginning of February.