Ukrainian Wheat: EU Extends Restrictions

The price of durum wheat in Italy is declining

The European Commission has decided to extend until September 15, 2023 the restrictions imposed in April last year and expiring on June 6 on the export of wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds from Ukraine to the customs territories of Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania.

According to the representative of the European Commission, “the measures limit the import of goods to the five Eastern European countries only in transit.” In April last year, after protests by farmers in some countries of Eastern Europe and after independent bocks by the governments of Poland and Hungary, Slovakia also banned the import of cereals “made in Ukraine.” There is talk of a “new Ukrainian wheat crisis,” and the European Commission has programmed an additional 75 million euros in aid for countries of Eastern Europe. According to the Ansa news agency, the results of this provision will not be long in coming, “As far as wheat prices are concerned, after the war-driven growth, there was a recession in Ukraine that pushed the price tags below pre-war levels.”

In Italy, according to the latest price list published by the Commodity Exchange of Perugia (May 30, 2023), the price of the best quality durum wheat averages €307.5 per ton (the result of a minimum price indicated at €305 and a maximum of €310), down 37.4% compared to May last year when it was quoted at €491. The price of durum wheat in the Perugia province (and therefore in Umbria) has suffered little, unlike soft wheat, which since the start of the war in Ukraine reached a maximum of 491 euros, after the Russian invasion (again, the average value per ton), in May 2022, compared to 470 reported in February 2022, the month the Russian attack began. Earlier, in January, the best durum wheat was quoted at an average of 506 euros.