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Parliamentary questions
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23 January 2020
Answer given by Mr Wojciechowski
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003728/2019

EU import of cereals are subject to specific rules laid down in Commission Regulation (EU) No 642/2010(1). These rules concern the system of variable import duties and t he quality standards to be met.

Imports of cereals from third countries are tightly linked to the European market needs, namely for the supply of the livestock sector. For several marketing years, European cereals production has faced adverse climatic conditions such as abundant rainfalls in 2016 and severe drought in 2018. Such agrometeorological conditions also affected pastures productivity and therefore reduced substantially the total availability of fodder.

The dynamic of maize imports, including from Ukraine as largest supplier, is the result of an increasing demand for feed in the EU and do not create difficulties for the EU market. The main destination of maize imports is traditionally the Mediterranean Member States, in particular Spain, Italy and Portugal where the cereals deficit is generally the highest.

From the market point of view, the current level of cereals imports into the EU has not caused a market disturbance and do not require the Commission intervention. Nevertheless, the Commission will continue to monitor closely cereals imports into the EU and their impacts on the EU cereals market balance.

(1) Commission Regulation (EU) n°642/2010 of 20 July 2010 on rules of application (cereal sector import duties) for Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007, OJ L 187, 21.7.2010, p. 5.
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