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The articles are a suitable way for children to become familiar with what is happening in society and a good reason for a conversation (and why not an argument) in the family about them. Due to the age of the readers for whom the section is intended, the editors decided to close the articles from it for comments.
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Why are we talking about this?
From the dispute over prices, competition, imports and exports of Ukrainian grain, you can learn a lot about how the trade that moves the world around us works.
For the Bulgarian government, this week started with protests. People with different professions such as farmers and miners blocked the streets of Sofia with different demands.
The most impressive was the protest of the Bulgarian farmers, which started on Monday. They blocked important roads across the country. On Tuesday, they also blocked the entrance to Sofia with tractors and other agricultural machinery.
What made them angry?
A decision that was taken by the National Assembly and supported by the government. With it, Bulgarian MPs canceled the ban on importing agricultural crops such as wheat and sunflower from Ukraine. This means that they can be sold freely in our country.
The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Bulgaria for this decision on the X social network and said that our country is an example of true solidarity.
And why was there a ban on imports from Ukraine at all?
Most countries impose a special tax that makes goods made in other countries more expensive. This fee is called a “duty”. This helps producers within the country itself. When buyers choose, they often choose the cheaper item, right? The countries of the European Union do not have customs duties among themselves, but they tax the goods of other countries with customs duties.
When Russia invaded Ukraine last year, the European Union (EU) decided to lift the tariff on imports from Ukraine. Thus, the products from Ukraine reached the European markets without increasing the price. With this, the EU wanted to support the economy of Ukraine, which suffered a lot because of the war.
However, this decision did not go down well with some countries. Five of them introduced a ban on the import of agricultural products from Ukraine to their markets. These were Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
The EU accepted this, but as a temporary measure until it finds a common way to resolve the dispute.
Bulgaria introduced a temporary ban on the import of grain, milk, meat and other foodstuffs from Ukraine in April this year. On September 15, the deadline for picking her up expired.
But what is this import and export?
And why do some countries want to ban it?
As we have already told you, the world economy is driven by trade between the countries of the world. Each country produces some goods and buys others. For example, Bulgaria is a large producer of grain. Part of this grain remains in Bulgaria and is used for the production of bread or flour. But a large part is exported from our country and sold on international markets.
Ukraine is also a major producer of grain and other crops such as sunflowers. This means that it is a competitor of Bulgaria for the sale of these raw materials.
The prices of this type of product are greatly influenced by international exchanges. This means that they are determined by supply and demand in the markets. For example, when the war in Ukraine started, these goods became more expensive. This means that last year grain producers sold their goods for more money.
This year, however, the price has halved. Probably not all farmers wanted to sell their crops at a lower price. Thus, 40% of the grain and sunflower production this year matures in warehouses. There are no deals for their export abroad.
Why are Bulgarian farmers angry?
Bulgarian farmers believe that the arrival of Ukrainian grain will undercut their prices. Accordingly, they will not be able to sell their products and will be at a loss.
So they asked the government to stop imports from Ukraine until they could sell their grain for more money than it cost them to produce it.
It was not easy for the government to find a solution. Because farmers want to sell their grain dear (without loss), but people want to buy their bread cheap. The government had to find an option to help both sides.
What happened in the end?
On Tuesday, the government and grain producers reached a compromise. And on Wednesday, the farmers ended their protest. The agreement is for Bulgaria to stop importing sunflowers from Ukraine for the time being. And the decision for other crops such as wheat, corn and rapeseed will be taken by the European Commission (EU government) in negotiations with Ukraine and the agricultural ministers of all EU countries.
Now the Bulgarian oil producers will not be happy with this decision. It was more profitable for them to buy cheaper sunflower from Ukraine in order to produce and sell more oil. It’s a complicated world of trading, isn’t it?