German agricultural trader criticises Hungary’s grain export stop

HAMBURG, March 7 (Reuters) - Leading German agricultural trading group BayWa AG on Monday criticised Hungary, a major supplier of corn animal feed to the EU, over its decision to ban grain exports following a surge in prices.

Hungary’s minister of agriculture Istvan Nagy said on Friday the government was banning all grain exports effective immediately due to price increases caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The decision to stop exports was “inappropriate and lacking highly in solidarity,” said BayWa CEO Klaus Josef Lutz in a statement.

Russia and Ukraine account for about 29% of global wheat exports and 19% of corn exports, with shipments from Ukraine at a stop since the fighting started and Russian exports falling heavily. This has led to a 40% increase in wheat prices in the last week as importers seek alternative supplies.

Romania has enough grain and food reserves to weather the crisis sparked by Russia’s actions and is not considering limiting wheat exports at the moment, Farm Minister Adrian Chesnoiu said on Monday.

Bulgaria said it would bolster its wheat reserves while producers fear an export ban. (Reporting by Michael Hogan Editing by Mark Potter)