Ukrainian agricultural producers have already used up their yearly allowances on the export of corn, honey, apple and grape juices to the European Union, Vladislava Rutitskaya, Deputy Minister of the Ukrainian Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, said Wednesday.
"To date we have four quotas on which the acceptable amounts have been exhausted early. These include the quota on the export of maize (400,000 tons), honey (5,000 tons), very nearly the quota on the export of apple and grape juices (98.4 percent of 10,000 tons) and the quarterly quota for poultry (4,000 tons)," Rutitskaya noted, cited by Ukrainian Information Agency UNIAN.
Rutitskaya noted that her ministry will push to expand Ukraine's quota allowances for these and other goods at the next regular session of the "Ukraine-EU Dialogue" in late April. "Within the framework of our dialogue on agriculture, we will discuss the trade preferences granted by the EU to Ukraine, and the possibility of starting negotiations on a revision process within the framework of a free trade regime with the EU."
The Deputy Minister added that "while we have exhausted some quotas on trade with the EU ahead of schedule, in others, the quotas have not been filled. For example, in 2014, quotas on mushrooms, dairy products, pork, beef, and cigarettes were not used."
On November 1, 2014, the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, signed earlier that year, stepped into force. Experts have stated that Ukraine's agricultural products are unlikely to see sustained long-term demand in European markets due to stringent quality standards and a market already overflowing with heavily subsidized agricultural goods. In 2013, Russian negotiators urging Ukraine to consider joining the Eurasian Economic Union noted that in contrast to the EU, EEU members showed strong for Ukrainian goods, including food. Europe's Common Agricultural Policy, a complex web of agreements aimed at subsidizing farmers and simultaneously dealing with oversupply, has been criticized for its failure to absorb the production of the new Eastern European entrants into the EU. EU members including Bulgaria and Romania have faced extensive difficulties in applying EU-mandated reforms to their farming sectors.
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