Since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war, Ukrainian agricultural crops have been a topic of discussion. Several countries have spoken out against the massive inflow of cheap grain.
Ukrainian grain is much cheaper than similar products from neighboring EU countries. Thanks to their price advantage, Ukraine dominates the wheat and flour market. The Hungarian government decided in April to ban imports of agricultural products from Ukraine. The restriction was first introduced until June 30, and Hungary has urged the EU to reconsider the full duty-free treatment of Ukrainian goods and the functioning of the solidarity corridors, recalls Világgazdaság. This ban was later extended by the government. Hungary was not the only country to take action against Ukrainian dumping. Although the EU did not support it, Poland and Slovakia also restricted imports from the country.
However, the import ban has not been a quick remedy, and storage facilities in many places are now full of Ukrainian grain.
There is another serious problem concerning Ukrainian grain, warns the news portal: Ukrainian grain entering the country may contain substances harmful to health.
In Ukraine, pesticides are used that were banned in EU countries years ago because of their adverse health effects.
Cheap Ukrainian grain is a strong competitor not only domestically, but also abroad, as it is exported from Hungary. In the first half of this year, Hungary imported twice as much grain as in the same period in 2022, but exports fell by a fifth. This in turn led to a more than EUR 600 million deficit in agricultural foreign trade. Although Ukrainian cereals have depressed prices in Hungary, domestic farmers have not yet figured out what to produce instead of the classic cereals, at least as indicated by the fact that the area planted with autumn cereals has not decreased.
Via Világgazdaság, Featured image: Facebook/Szijjártó Péter