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Agriculture ministers of Bulgaria, Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Romania have agreed to call on the European Commission to take steps to stabilise the internal grain markets in light of fast-growing imports from Ukraine, Hungarian Agriculture Minister István Nagy said on Friday. The ministers met on the sidelines of the International Green Weeks (IGW) in Berlin, the ministry said in a statement.
Although Ukrainian ports have been partially reopened in the past months, imports of grain and oily seeds to its western neighbours have grown. International traders have switched to Ukrainian products on traditional markets for Hungarian grain, and so demand has significantly fallen for the latter, he said. While input costs remain high, Ukrainian imports have depressed producers’ prices, he said. The long-term presence of Ukrainian grain and seeds would cause “serious problems” in the European countries producing the same, he said, calling for a review of the market situation and for corresponding measures in the EU. The measures should aim to protect local farmers and the market balance within the bloc, while respecting EU measures to aid the export of Ukrainian produce, he said.