site.btaAdd Cooking Oil to List of Banned Imports from Ukraine, Bulgarian Grain Producers Urge
Bulgarian grain producers demand the inclusion of cooking oil in the list of banned imports from Ukraine whose validity was just extended until September by the European Commission.
"The current ban on import of goods from Ukraine is limited to wheat, rape, sunflower and maize," said Bulgarian National Association of Grain Producers (BNAGP) President Iliya Prodanov, quoted by the organization in a press release on Tuesday. "Refined and unrefined cooking oil are out of this list which, in practice, erodes the effectiveness of the ban because Bulgarian processors have replaced the inputs with unrefined oil," he pointed out.
In his words, the quantities that producers keep in stock are enough to meet domestic demand and the export market.
In the grain producers' estimates, there are some 1 million tonnes of sunflower and about 2 million tonnes of wheat are in warehouses. They have not been sold because of slack demand and a paltry price that is far below the production. "Since last year the price has been just 50% of the production cost which now stands at some BGN 1,000/tonne for the warehoused sunflower," Prodanov explained.
After Bulgaria imposed a ban, the import from Ukraine declined but did not stop because the Ukrainian produce reaches Bulgaria by Romanian and Moldovan trucks, BNAGP Board member Radostina Zhekova said on Euronews Bulgaria. She added that there has been an increase in the import of cooking oil entering Bulgaria, from 15,000-16,000 tonnes monthly to 10,000-12,000 tonnes weekly.
Zhekova added that the sector is "shocked" by the exceedingly low prices of the grain they produced in 2022-2023 at an exceedingly high production cost. She argued that the banned imports list should include cooking oil, honey and powedered milk because the other farming sectors are in trouble, too.