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Thursday, 17 February 2011

Commission proposes suspension of import duties on certain cereals

Import duties on certain cereals imported into the EU will be suspended next week until the end of June 2011 in order to ease the pressure on the EU market, especially for animal feed. Backed by Member States this morning within the Management Committee, the move is intended to help maintain a good balance on the EU market. The suspension relates to existing tariff rate quotas for low & medium quality soft wheat and for feed barley, where the preferential tariffs of 12 €/tonne and 16 €/tonne respectively will be reduced to zero for the volumes permitted under the quota. Speaking after the Management Committee vote, Dacian Ciolos, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, stated: "I hope this proposal will reduce tensions on the European cereals market. While prices remain high on world and EU markets we have an obligation to do what we can to help ease the situation until the end of the marketing year." The outlook for the world cereals markets in 2010/2011 suggests that prices will remain high, given that world cereals ending stocks will be 62 million tonnes lower than at the end of the last marketing year. The formal regulation will be published in the Official Journal next week. In order to avoid penalising traders who have cereals en route to the Union, transport time will be taken into account. As long as transport to the Union is underway by 30 June 2011, at the latest, traders will be allowed to release the cereals for free circulation under the proposed customs duty suspension regime.

Source: European Commission