On the day Russia refuses to renew its grain export deal with Ukraine, cereal producers says the Italian harvest could be down 60% this year. This puts extra pressure on food production, and would lead to price increases.
Russia has refused to renew a deal with Ukraine which allowed it to export grain through the Black Sea.
The deal enabled Ukraine to supply world markets with over 32 million tonnes of food products. It will now need to find alternative routes for its exports.
The Ukraine grain deal let cargo ships pass safely along a corridor in the Black Sea to and from the Ukrainian ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhny/Pivdennyi.
Italian response to Russia’s renewal refusal
Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said Monday that Italy and its international partners were working on “alternative solutions”.
“The lack of food in Africa regards us all,” Tajani said via Twitter. “We are very worried that Russia ended the agreement on grain. We are already at work for alternative solutions.
“The issue will be addressed at the food security summit that we have organised with the United Nations in Rome on July 24”.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday that “millions of people will pay the price” of Russia’s withdrawal from the agreement.
Italy cereal harvest down 60% this year
The cereal harvest of Italy and other European countries could be down by as much as 60% this year, the Copa and Cogeca European agriculture groups said on today.
“In the space of two months, forecasts for harvests which were initially positive have been turned on their head by poor weather conditions across Europe,” a statement said.
“For cereals the situation is extremely worrying with an expected production of 256 million tonnes, possibly the worst harvest since 2007 and 10% below the last 5-year average.
“Many farmers will not be able to cover their production costs. This is why Copa and Cogeca are launching an urgent call to action to face this difficult situation in 2023 and its consequences for 2024.
“Droughts have hit again across all the EU in May and June, with no precipitations at all in some regions.
“We are now expecting a serious reduction of the production, especially for cereals, not only in Spain, Portugal, or Italy (up to -60% compared to 2022), but all over the EU (e.g., Romania -20%, Finland -30%, Poland – 14%, Lithuania -35% compared to the May forecast).
“These low cereal production numbers will be accompanied by a serious issue of quality in many regions”.
Italy has suffered droughts and extreme weather events over the last three years.