site.btaCooking Oil Producers Hail Proposed Lifting of Ban on Import of Ukrainian Sunflower
The Oilseed Oil Producers Association in Bulgaria (OOPAB) welcomes a motion entered by MPs on lifting the ban on import of sunflower from Ukraine, effective September 15, 2023.
"We back the scrapping of the ban because cooking oil manufacturing enterprises keep experiencing a shortage of locally grown inputs. Sound reason has finally prevailed and Bulgaria has readopted a nationally responsible economic policy," said OOPAB Managing Board Chairman Yani Yanev.
Sunflower-seed processing plants in this country have an annual capacity of over 4 million tonnes. Bulgaria, however, produces some 2 million tonnes of the inputs annually and companies rely on import, including from Ukraine. The enterprises producing cooking oil and oilcake will be have to close down or scale down their operation if the sunflower import ban continues, Yanev warned. "Bulgaria has built an industry capable of processing far more sunflower than is needed to meet domestic demand," he explained.
According to the Association, the import ban did not push oilseeds prices above international levels for local producers, and keeping the ban for this purpose only will continue to damage both farmers and processors, considering the steady downward trend in oilseeds prices worldwide. Since the ban was imposed, the sunflower price has dived by some BGN 150, which is why keeping the ban cannot be expected to support local producers, the organization said.
In early June, the European Commission extended the ban on import of wheat, maize, rape and sunflower from Ukraine to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia by three months until September 15, 2023. The initial ban was imposed in early May at the request of these five most affected EU Member States.