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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Crisis in the grain market. Artur Balazs comments

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The opening of the Polish market to Ukrainian grain was extremely irresponsible and the consequences of this are, as we can see, very severe, assessed the former Minister of Agriculture Artur Balazs in “Fakty po Faktach”. In his opinion, the change in the position of the minister of agriculture will not reverse the situation. – The problem will grow and I have the feeling that if it is not resolved in a rather decisive manner in the coming months, there will be a destabilization not only of the Polish market, but also of other border countries – he added.

Artur Balazs was asked about the crisis related to importing Ukrainian grain to Poland. – A little imagination was enough, six months ago, eight months ago, to be aware of the consequences of opening the border with Ukraine for agricultural products, he said. In his opinion, “i European Union and the Polish government should be aware of the “consequences” of such a step.

– You didn’t need too much imagination, just a little knowledge about the market, about the level of exports from Ukraine was enough to know how it would destabilize the Polish market – he assessed.

He pointed out that the Polish border is the border of the European Union. – So it was extreme irresponsibility and the consequences of this are, as we can see, very severe. And I don’t think that the solutions proposed today will make this problem go away. In my opinion, it will grow and I have the feeling that if it is not resolved in a rather decisive manner in the coming months, it will destabilize not only the Polish market, but also other border countries, he predicted.

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Ukraine is one of the world’s largest grain exportersArtem Grebenyuk / Shutterstock

The appointment of a new agriculture minister “does not change the situation”

According to Balazs, the solution proposed by the new Minister of Agriculture, Robert Telus, “does not cause any significant change”. He noted that the previous head of the ministry had already ensured that Ukrainian grain was delivered to Poland only as part of transit. – It turned out that our warehouses were flooded. Today, no one knows for sure whether it is three, four or two million tonnes, but it is certainly such an amount that prevents the normal functioning of the market – he said.

In his opinion, “if we are to free our warehouses from this surplus, then no other grain can enter Poland.” He added that “transit capacity through the ports is very limited.” – If we have surpluses of 3 to 5 million tonnes in our warehouses (ed.), we will not solve it in a simple and unambiguous way at the moment. If competition is added to this, even within the transit itself, it will also cause competition in ports and limit our potential and our capabilities – he assessed.

Robert Telus about grain from UkraineTVN24

When asked whether he believed that the new minister of agriculture would be able to overcome the crisis, he replied that the change in the management of the ministry “does not change the situation and the Polish government in any special way”. – Maybe because the previous minister was already quite prepared, he faced this problem. I don’t think there was any deeper meaning, apart from the media one, of changing the current minister. This does not change the functionality and efficiency of the government. I don’t expect any optimal solutions here – he said.

Main photo source: Artem Grebenyuk / Shutterstock

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