U.S. Ambassador Taylor Says Grain Quotas Are More Harmful Than Beneficial To Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine -- U.S. Ambassador William Taylor has said that Ukraine has lost its status of a reliable grain supplier with the introduction of export quotas.

U.S. Ambassador William Taylor

He made this statement to the press in Odessa on February 1 after a visit to the grain terminal of Transinvestservis Ltd near the Pivdennyi Port in the Odessa region.

"What you can see is bad Tons of wheat are being destroyed. Ukraine was the sixth largest grain exporter in the world. Today its reputation is damaged."

"Ukraine has stopped being a reliable partner," the ambassador commented.

Since the Ukrainian government restricted exports, several hundred thousand tons of grain have gotten spoilt in Ukrainian ports before being shipped to consumers around the world.

The quotas are more harmful than beneficial to the country, Taylor concluded.

There are other methods to protect the population from bread price hikes while quotas affect agricultural and transportation enterprises and grain elevators, and foreign investments in Ukraine may fall as a result, he opined.

Export restrictions have already caused huge losses.

"An estimate of all losses that I saw is approximately USD $200 million. These are losses of agricultural producers, transportation companies and companies that store grain. This is why we would like these losses to be stopped and grain sales resumed," Taylor said.

In his address, he called on the government to conduct consultations with agricultural and other experts, and stressed that on its way to a WTO membership Ukraine must actively participate in the world trade and impose no restrictions on export.

A Transinvestservis representative said that 230,000 tons of barley is stored in their elevator and around 30,000 tons of wheat was taken to other elevators in Ukraine because its quality no longer allows for sale on external markets.

Odessa Merchant Seaport stores around 220,000 tons of grain intended for export under quotas.

Source: Ukrainian News