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Coronavirus: Agriculture Minister Asks Urgent EC Review of Poultry Import Conditions

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.05.06.

Minister of Agriculture István Nagy has asked the European Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan for an urgent EC review of poultry import conditions from third countries in order to minimise the negative impact of the novel coronavirus epidemic in the sector.

Nagy said in his letter that temporary restrictions adopted in tourism, catering and the hospitality industry (HORECA) have required the rapid reorganisation of agricultural sales from the services industry to retail, the ministry said in a statement. Demand for high added-value and seasonal products has shifted towards non-perishable foodstuffs which has resulted in a temporary loss of consumption in one of the largest markets of agriculture, the HORECA sector, it added.

Parallel to the fall in demand in European markets, significant imports have arrived in the EU from third countries, resulting in accumulated stocks and excess supply in certain areas, the ministry said citing Nagy. The excess supply has had a negative effect, especially on the poultry product chain, and its consequences have already reached producers, he added.

“In the interest of preventing long-term losses in the poultry sector, in addition to immediate market measures, further swift action is required,” the minister said.

“This, however, necessitates an urgent review by the Commission of the conditions that are attached to imports originating from third countries,” he added.

He said a “temporary adjustment of the quantity of imports originating from third countries could help to achieve a state of balance on the internal market and the creation of equal competitive conditions for internal production.”

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