site.btaSunflower Processors Reiterate Demand Bulgaria to Approve Licensing Regime for Sunflower Imports from Ukraine by Nov. 30
Bulgaria is the largest exporter of sunflower oil and related products in the European Union, the Oilseed Oil Producers Association in Bulgaria (OOPAB) said in a press release on Wednesday.
The Association said that November 30 is the deadline for Bulgaria to confirm Ukraine's licensing regime for the export of sunflower and other agricultural products and for imports to Bulgaria from Ukraine to resume for the first time since April 2023. Processors of oilseed crops in Bulgaria urge the Council of Ministers to take into account processors and end users’ need of raw materials and to adopt a workable mechanism for the import of sunflower and rapeseed without imposing administrative restrictions.
The OOPAB noted that the temporary ban on oilseed imports from Ukraine eight months ago had led to a systemic shortage of raw materials for domestic processing, over 30% drop in production and huge losses for the processing industry, the temporary closure of factories and layoffs, as well as failure to deliver on contracts.
The Association bringing together most of the oil processing enterprises in Bulgaria stated that it does not tolerate attempts to pit the interests of the processing industry against the farmers’. The OOPAB recalled that processing companies employ over 10,000 workers and provide a livelihood for over 50,000 people, either directly or indirectly. In the absence of raw materials for production in 2024, the industry will be forced to shut down plants and lay off employees.
Last week, sunflower processors attended a hearing of the Committee on Agriculture, Food and Forestry. Agriculture Minister Kiril Vatev said that after November 30, Ukrainian sunflower which is under customs control will be released on a quota principle so that processors can get as much as they need. He said that there will be sufficient sunflower quantities to process.