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Polish sugar producers want embargo on Ukraine's sugar imports

Friday, 15 December 2023, 09:05

Associations of Polish sugar beet producers have appealed to the new Minister of Agriculture with a request to ban the import of Ukrainian sugar to Poland because it is a threat to their business.

Source: European Pravda, citing Polish radio news portal RMF24

The National Association of Sugar Beet Producers initiated the appeal. Businesses want "an immediate embargo on the import of sugar from Ukraine."

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They argue that after the temporary suspension of the quotas for importing Ukrainian agricultural products into the EU, the import of Ukrainian sugar increased tenfold, and this hit the businesses in the EU countries neighbouring Ukraine the most.

Quote: "In recent months, Poland and other countries neighbouring Ukraine have seen a significant drop in sugar prices, which puts the Polish industry in a less competitive position than Western European countries," the association said.

Businesses are demanding a ban the import of Ukrainian sugar to Poland, citing the example of Slovakia and Hungary, and believe that the EU's decision to abolish quotas for importing agricultural products from Ukraine should not be extended when it expires in June 2024.

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Producers are asking the new Minister of Agriculture Czesław Siekierski to ban the import of Ukrainian sugar and push in Brussels for the cancellation of the decision on unlimited access of Ukrainian agricultural products to the EU market, bringing back the quotas that existed before.

Krzysztof Paszyk, a representative of the Polish Peasant Party, said when asked about a potential embargo that he didn't consider an embargo to be "the right decision" and that the issue would need to be resolved in negotiations with Ukraine and the European Union.

Quote: "We need good, constructive negotiations with the Ukrainian side. Recently, there have been too many bad emotions in our relations. We support Ukraine; we support it in the fight against Russia, but we must also gently emphasise that some of our interests cannot be jeopardised," he noted.

Background:

  • In September 2023, the European Commission cancelled restrictions on importing Ukrainian agricultural products to five eastern EU countries, which were introduced due to complaints from local farmers. But three states – Poland, Slovakia and Hungary – responded by announcing unilateral restrictions on Ukrainian imports of certain types of products.
  • On 29 November, the Slovak government supported prolonging the ban on agricultural products from Ukraine for an indefinite period and extended the list of goods to which it applies.
  • Meanwhile, Ukraine and Bulgaria agreed on the details of the licensing regime for the export of Ukrainian sunflower, rapeseed, corn and wheat seeds.
  • The European Commission observes no adverse effects of Ukrainian agricultural imports on European markets.

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