Hungary’s grain association protests ban on grain exports

8 Mar 2022 | Sharon Levrez

Hungary’s grain association has written to the country’s ministry of agriculture to protest at its ban on grain exports amid rising fears globally around the future supply of wheat.

In a letter seen by Agricensus, the association said they saw the ban as a matter of serious legal and professional concern.

“Apart from the fact that the regulation is contrary to EU principles, it does not appear to be well thought out, consistent or professionally sound, and raises serious problems of interpretation,” the letter says.

“Although we consider the intention behind the regulation to be understandable, we find it unacceptable that a provision of this magnitude was put into effect with immediate effect without prior consultation and involvement of the parties concerned.”

The letter included a series of practical questions about how the ban would work.

Hungary announced an immediate ban on grain exports late last week, citing soaring market prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The ban was officially published on Saturday and went into force on Sunday.

Hungary is not a major exporter of grains from the EU.

In 2021, it exported 376,445 mt of wheat, 127,247 mt of corn and 786,344 mt of barley, according to Agricensus data.

However, the move is indicative of the mood in other neighboring countries.

Bulgaria was also rumored to be mulling a ban on exports last week but in the end no official confirmation of the move came.

Market sources said they had temporarily paused the issue of phytosanitary certificates, which would effectively restrict exports.

Romania is said to be still discussing a similar ban.