Russia’s Food Imports Ban Costs Bulgarian Producers EUR 6 M
Bulgaria’s food industry has suffered an estimated BGN 12 M (EUR 6 M) in damages as a result of Russia’s ban on food imports from the EU, Agriculture Minister Desislava Taneva has said.
Speaking at an industry conference in Sofia, Taneva said on Monday the restrictions have led to oversupply and falling prices for agricultural produce across the EU. In Bulgaria, producers of meat, milk and dairy products have been hit particularly hard.
She had said earlier Bulgaria’s estimated damages from the trade ban could reach EUR 10 M. The ban was imposed in August last year in response to sanctions against Russia introduced by the European Commission over Moscow’s support for pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.
The size of damages to producers will hinge on the duration of the restrictions and the capability of the European Union to find alternative export destinations to halt the decline in prices, Taneva said.
She gave as an example raw milk prices which have been falling for 12 months now and were 15% down on the year in January, according to official Bulgarian statistics.
Taneva estimated Bulgaria is located somewhere mid-range in terms of damages suffered by agricultural producers in the EU as a result of the food ban imposed by Russia.
In a bid to alleviate the situation the Agriculture Ministry and Bulgarian food producers are drafting changes to domestic legislation to enhance direct access to the market for farmers as well as provide them with additional opportunities to sell their products to local schools.
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