Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas-week Black Sea agri-news

The European Union have renewed economic sanctions against Russia for a further six months much to Moscow’s consternation and scuppering any relaxation in Russia’s embargo on food imports from western countries.

Following on from news that Russia and China have agreed delivery protocols for Russian grain came a quote from Russia’s food safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor that Russia could send China up to 1mmt of grain next year.

Ukraine’s minister of agriculture reported that although the Russian trade embargos due to come into force next week will account for 46% of Ukraine’s agricultural exports to Russia, it is only 1% of Ukraine’s total agricultural exports.

Ukraine’s parliament failed to adopt tax amendments which will likely result in the IMF freezing $40bn funding package. 

The politics behind this is complicated but one comment that stood out was from a group of lawmakers allied with President Poroshenko, who want a new tax code that favours the agriculture sector to help agriculture replace the struggling steel industry as Ukraine’s main engine of growth.

Ukraine’s State Forestry Agency have strengthened the protection of forests during Christmas tree campaign (their words) by increasing the fine for illegally chopping a tree down up to $204 per tree.

Which reminds me of the story my old taxi driver told me when he and his mate went to the Carpathian Mountains (pictured) to “collect” Christmas trees.  His mate went to off to deliver a load of trees while he stayed behind to protect the ones they had already cut.

He said it seemed like a good idea until it went dark and he realised he was alone, in the dark, with no torch or weapon and bears lived in the woods.  Longest night of his life apparently.

Happy Christmas