Since July 1st, the EU has imported 3.1 million tonnes of grain. Last season, the grain imports from July 1st to August 26th was 875,072 tonnes of grain. This means that the EU imported a grain volume that is 3.5 times higher than last season.
The bulk of the imports consist of maize, of which the EU member states imported 1.9 million tonnes in the first two months of this season. That's three times as much as the same period last year. The import of wheat increased fivefold to 838,566 tonnes.
However, last week maize imports decreased, because there is no maize available from the Ukraine. Moreover, the tax-free quota of 400,000 tonnes from Ukraine has been fully utilised. Now there is an import duty of €5.62 per tonne of corn again.
The sharp increase in the wheat imports is the result of the Ukrainian import quota for wheat. This means that Ukraine is allowed to sell 950,000 tonnes of wheat to European customers until October 31, without import duties.
European grain exports are also booming. Between July 1st and August 26th, the European Commission issued grain export certificates for more than 5.5 million tonnes of grain. Although this is 18% less than the volume in the same period last season. However in the 2013/2014 season, the EU sold a record amount of grain to third (non EU) countries.
It is remarkable that the EU exports so much wheat. There are quality problems with European wheat because of heavy rainfall and Russia is dumping wheat on the world market. Traders fear that the sanctions against Russia will be tightened, which will have an effect on grain exports.
Between July 1st and August 26th, the EU exported 1.5 million tonnes of barley. That is a third less than last season. The EU is one of the cheapest providers of feed barley on the world market. It is expected that the EU feed barley exports will continue to grow.