Poland bans grain and food imports from Ukraine to apply for transit, minister says

WARSAW (Reuters) – A Polish ban on imports of Ukrainian grain and other food products will also apply to the transit of those products across the country, the Development and Technology Minister said on Sunday.

Poland and Hungary said on Saturday they had decided to ban imports from neighboring Ukraine to protect the local agricultural sector after a spate of bids pushed down prices across the region. The Polish ban came into force on Saturday evening.

“The ban is complete, including the transit ban through Poland,” Waldemar Buda wrote on Twitter, adding that talks are being held with the Ukrainian side to create a system that will ensure goods only go through Poland and not in the country land market.

Ukraine’s Agricultural Policy and Food Ministry said on Saturday that Poland’s export ban conflicted with existing bilateral export deals and called for talks to resolve the issue.

After Russia’s invasion blocked some Black Sea ports, large quantities of Ukrainian grain, which is cheaper than that produced in the European Union, remained in the Central European states due to logistical bottlenecks, depressing prices and sales for local farmers.

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The issue has created a political problem for Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party in an election year, as it has angered people in rural areas where support for the party is usually high.

(Reporting by Alan Charlish; Editing by Sharon Singleton)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

Brian Ashcraft

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