Polish PM declares Ukrainian grain will not flow into Poland after Sept 15

4 Aug 2023 | Serina Gothard

Poland's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Robert Telus, has sought to reassure the country's Independent Self-Governing Trade Union of Individual Farmers and the National Union of Farmers that grain imports from Ukraine would not be permitted after September 15, but that transit of product would continue.

In a meeting held in Warsaw on August 3, Telus said, “We will do everything to help Ukraine in the transit of grains from Ukraine, but grain will not be able to enter Poland.”

This came seemingly despite a decision from the European Commission, passed on July 25, that stated the bloc would await the results of the current harvest before deciding on an appeal made by five member states to extend a temporary import ban on Ukrainian agricultural products beyond the current September 15 deadline.

In May, the European Commission agreed to impose a ban on Ukrainian imports of wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower into Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia until September 15.

Poland has exported over 4.5 million mt of cereal over the last four months, which has relieved some of the fears around mounting stock levels after a backlog of grain from the 2022 harvest built up in farmers' warehouses.

“In January 299,000 mt [was exported], in February 539,000 mt, in March 628,000 mt, in April 704,000 mt, in May 882,000 mt and in June almost 940,000 mt,” said Telus.

At the same time, transit volumes of grain from Ukraine had also increased from 114,000 mt in February to 262,000 mt in June.

Telus also proposed to facilitate the transportation of Ukrainian cereals to seaports in Lithuania and Latvia – and that these ports should also enable the export of Polish grain.