EU Moves Toward Duty-Free Import Quotas for Ukrainian Grain
The EU moved closer to enacting duty-free imports of Ukrainian grain as part of a trade package that would support Kiev’s shift away from Russia. The 28-nation bloc plans to give Ukrainian exports open access to its market of half of a billion consumers prior to the trade accord planned for later this year. Volume quotas have been set on agricultural products however to protect EU farmers. Once approved, the duty-free quotas will be open until October 31st for the import of 950,000 tons of Ukrainian wheat and flour, 400,000 tons of maize, and 250,000 tons of barley. Under the free trade agreement, these volume quotas will increase within five years to 1 million tons of wheat, 650,000 tons of maize, and 350,000 tons of barley. These new exclusive quotas could boost Ukraine’s position in the EU grain market. Ukraine’s 2013/14 grain exports are expected to reach a record of 33 million tons compared to 23 million tons last year.
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