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Hungary restricts exports of cereals

Italmopa: "without the immediate withdrawal of the measure, the production of flour in Italy is at risk"

The Italian milling industry will no longer be able to guarantee the production of soft wheat flours in the volumes required by the market, should the unfortunate Hungarian decision to apply restrictions on the export of wheat, also to countries, are not urgently withdrawn. members of the European Union. Thus Italmopa-association of industrial millers of Italy (Federalimentare / Confindustria) regarding the decree issued by Hungary which introduces a system of limiting the export of cereals, and therefore of wheat, considered "strategic agricultural commodities".

Hungary has in fact banned all grain exports with immediate effect due to the price increase caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The statement yesterday 7 March by the Minister of Agriculture Istvan Nagy to the television channel RTL concerns basic food necessities such as cereals, soy and sunflower (see article EFA News of 7-3-22 ). "The measure adopted by Hungary constitutes a clear violation of the principle of the free movement of goods in the European internal market, and calls into question the fundamental values set out in the EU treaties", underlines Emilio Ferrari , Italmopa president.

"An unacceptable decision that risks compromising the correct supply of raw materials for the Italian soft wheat milling industry whose total requirement, equal to 5.5 million tons of wheat, is guaranteed 65 percent by imports, from EU countries or third countries, of which over 30 percent is made up of Hungarian wheat. An incredible situation, especially since it does not derive in any way from the interruption of the flows of imports of wheat from Russia and Ukraine, on the whole marginal, but from the autonomous decision of a European partner who has decided to move outside the rules to which has voluntarily agreed to undergo by joining the European Union and that, moreover, is a net beneficiary of Community aid for agricultural production. And it is for this reason that we expect a strong and rapid reaction from the European Commission against a clear violation of Community law by a Member State”, concludes Ferrari.

"The supply situation of soft wheat mills will quickly become dramatic if the inviolable rules that regulate the functioning of the EU internal market are not urgently restored", confirms Andrea Valente, president of the Italmopa soft wheat mills section, "the risk of closure of milling plants within a few days due to the objective impossibility of replacing Hungarian common wheat, which was the subject of purchase contracts sometimes concluded several months before the outbreak of the conflict, with wheat of other origins. And in this case the supply of flour for the production of bread, pizza or confectionery products would inevitably be at risk. In recent days, we have responsibly highlighted that the violent explosion in wheat prices could in no way be absorbed by the milling industry alone, but it was objectively impossible to predict that this criticality would be suddenly accompanied by a serious threat to our supply coming from a EU country".

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EFA News - European Food Agency