07 August 1997
EU Commission ups cereal export tax
THE European Union Commission has raised – and then doubled – cereal export taxes in a bid to reduce the amount leaving the Continent.
World market prices have now reached EU prices for some cereals, and to prevent domestic prices from soaring and to avoid disruption to internal markets the Commission has raised export taxes – much to the dismay of grain traders.
Last Friday, the Commission initiated bids for export licences at a tax of 0.5Ecu per tonne (36p). However, after three days of reflection it rejected all requests, arguing that the offers, which amounted to over 1 million tonnes, were of a speculative nature.
Then, on Tuesday, it raised the daily standing export tax to 3Ecu/t (£2.16/t). Not satisfied that the increase would stifle trade, the Commission again today raised the export tax to 6Ecu/t (£4.32/t).
Bids for 472,000t of wheat sales to North Africa were finally accepted today, carrying the new 6Ecu/t tax.
“While this is frustrating, UK exporters main concern at the moment is our wheat quality,” said one trader.
Heavy rains throughout most of the UK – with floods ravaging crops in the south of England and Wales – have caused widespread concern over this years grain quality.