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EU to U-turn on Ukrainian exports – FT



The bloc has reportedly decided to reimpose tariffs on cheap eggs and sugar to protect its own farmers.
EU to U-turn on Ukrainian exports – FT

The EU is set to reimpose tariffs on sugar and egg imports from Ukraine on Friday to protect the bloc’s farmers from a flood of cheap goods, the Financial Times (FT) has reported.

EU member states decided earlier this year that they would apply an “emergency brake” if Ukrainian imports reached a certain volume.

Eggs and sugar imports have now hit that level, the FT said, citing people familiar with the situation. Tariffs amounting to €419 ($448) per ton of white sugar and €339 ($362) per ton of raw sugar will be announced on Friday, the publication reported. Eggs will cost an additional 32 cent per kilogram, it added.

Ukraine has become the EU’s leading supplier of eggs after the bloc’s poultry industry suffered from bird flu outbreaks in recent years. Imports from Ukraine jumped by three-quarters in 2023, and continued to rise at the start of this year, according to EU data.

Last week, tariffs were reintroduced on Ukrainian oats as imports also reached the relevant ceiling.

The decision to limit Ukrainian imports follows months of protests by farmers. Agricultural workers argue that the EU’s policies are threatening their livelihoods.

After the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, Brussels dropped all tariffs and quotas on Kiev’s farming goods for a period of one year to allow its agricultural products to be shipped to global markets.

Farmers in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and other neighboring countries staged protests, complaining that they simply could not compete with cheap Ukrainian imports that were not subject to the same tariffs and regulations as EU-produced goods.

In April, EU lawmakers extended Kiev’s duty-free access to member states’ markets but also decided to introduce caps on Ukrainian farm imports such as oats, corn, maize, honey, eggs, poultry, and sugar. Duties would be applied to the listed produce if imports exceed average levels of past years.

The expected reintroduction of tariffs comes just days after the EU opened membership talks with Kiev, “an agricultural powerhouse,” the FT said. The move underlines how difficult Ukraine’s accession negotiations will be, it added.


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