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Ukraine farm minister opposes sunflower seed export ban

  • The economy ministry said this week it had proposed banning exports of sunflower seeds from May 15 to Sept. 30, even though volumes of seed exports have been tiny.
  • Ukraine this week limited sunoil exports to 5.38 million tonnes in the 2020/21 season in a bid to prevent a jump in sunoil prices on domestic market.
23 Apr 2021

KYIV: Ukraine's agriculture minister Roman Leshchenko said on Friday he opposed proposals to introduce a ban on sunflower seed exports from Ukraine, a move initiated by the economy ministry.

The economy ministry said this week it had proposed banning exports of sunflower seeds from May 15 to Sept. 30, even though volumes of seed exports have been tiny.

Ukraine was a leading seed exporter more than 20 years ago but exports largely stopped after the country imposed a 23% duty in 1999. Ukraine sunflower oil production rocketed since then, making the country one of the world's leading sunoil exporters.

The agriculture ministry this week took back control of the farming sector after a decision to merge it with the economy ministry was reversed.

Ukraine this week limited sunoil exports to 5.38 million tonnes in the 2020/21 season in a bid to prevent a jump in sunoil prices on domestic market.

"The ban on sunflower (seed) exports is an illegal measure because according to current legislation, the reason for its introduction is a violation of market equilibrium, or deficit. However, there is no shortage of sunflower in Ukraine," Leshchenko said.

He said the ban could create conditions for anti-competitive actions.

The economy ministry said the ban could help avoid a jump in domestic sunflower oil prices. Leshechenko said this approach was based on "dangerous populism" and threatened the development of the sector without solving the problem.

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