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Cheap Farm Exports from Ukraine Undermine Polish Farmers

European farmers are concerned over rising exports from Ukraine’s agricultural sector, particularly after the record-high harvest of sugar beet and sugar production, reported Interfax. In 2022, trade customs duties and quotas had been suspended by an EU decree, allowing Ukraine to boost its exports to the EU by 20 times. Polish farmers, according to the website of the Polish journal Farmer, are urging the authorities to introduce quotas on Ukrainian sugar exports to the EU, as soon as possible.

Ukraine’s gross sugar beet harvest in 2023 was 11.8 million-12 million tons, the largest since 2018, according to the report. From that, Ukraine produced 1.6 million tons of sugar, of which 600-650,000 tons could be exported in the new season. Sugar exports from Ukraine between October 2022 and September 2023 were already some of the highest in the country’s history, according to specialized agrarian media outlets in Poland.

“These data cause serious concern among EU countries. Farmers demand that trade with Ukraine be restricted…. Fear is on the rise among farmers. The sugar beet industry is still one of the most profitable sectors of European agriculture,” Farmer reported.