(MENAFN- AzerNews) Bulgaria has permitted licensed imports of Ukrainian sunflower,
rapeseed, corn, and wheat, the Bulgarian Agriculture and Food
Ministry said in a statement on its website quoted by Ukrainian
media, Azernews reports, citing Interfax.
Bulgarian Agriculture Minister Kiril Vatev and Ukrainian
Agrarian Policy and Food Minister Nikolai Solsky agreed on details
of licensed exports of sunflower seeds, rapeseed, corn, and wheat
from Ukraine to Bulgaria at an online meeting on December 1, the
"The Bulgarian Agriculture and Food Ministry has kept its
promise to limit imports of these agricultural products as much as
possible up to November 30, according to the memorandum concluded
between the government and the farmers protesting committee," the
ministry quoted Vatev as saying.
Upon the expiration of this period, the two countries "will
strictly monitor the market to make sure that there are no market
distortions and the interests of Bulgarian producers, processors,
and consumers are not undermined," he said.
The two countries will continue to monitor imports and exchange
data, the Bulgarian ministry said.
Solsky anticipated in November that Bulgaria, which refrained
from imposing unilateral national restrictions on Ukrainian imports
after September 15, when the EU lifted its relevant restrictions,
could be the first EU country neighboring Ukraine to lift the
restrictions in trade in agrifood.
Solsky suggested that Bulgaria would particularly wish to import
sunflower from Ukraine. Bulgarian farmers and processing companies
agreed in the fall of 2023 to open the domestic market to Ukrainian
sunflower imports starting December 1. The Bulgarian government
expected that local sunflower oil producers would buy up all
sunflower seeds produced by local farmers by this date and would
require another 1.5 million tonnes of them.
According to the Ukrainian oil industry association
Ukroliyaprom, Bulgaria has 16 oil extraction facilities, which
considerably increased production in the 2022 season and plan to
develop sunflower oil exports using sunflower seeds imported from
The European Commission announced on September 15 that it would
not extend restrictions on imports of agricultural produce from
Ukraine to the five neighboring EU countries, i.e. Poland,
Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia, based on certain
conditions to avoid a new sharp hike in supplies.
The EU had imposed restrictions on imports of Ukrainian wheat,
rapeseed, sunflower, and corn to the five countries on May 2. Those
countries insisted that duty-free shipments of Ukrainian agrifood
to the EU flooded their markets and damaged their agricultural
After the EU lifted the restrictions, Poland, Hungary, and
Slovakia imposed unilateral bans. Moreover, Poland has added
rapeseed cake and grist, corn bran, wheat flour, and their
derivatives to the import ban list, and Hungary has extended its
list to 24 items.
Ukraine has filed a motion with the World Trade Organization
accusing Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia of discriminating against
its agricultural produce. Ukraine is currently in negotiations on
licensing exports of its food products subject to their mandatory
verification in each of the five countries.
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