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MILAN, March 16 (Reuters) - Italy’s imports of some agricultural commodities from Ukraine are limited enough to be offset by a shift towards other markets after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine caused shortfalls, agriculture minister said on Wednesday.
International food and feed prices could jump by up to 20% as a result of the conflict, the United Nations food agency said last week, with uncertainty looming on Ukraine’s ability to harvest crops if the war continued and prospects for Russian exports in the coming year.
During a parliamentary hearing, minister Stefano Patuanelli said that Ukraine supplied 3% of imports of common wheat and 13% of corn to Italy.
“These are values (of imports from Ukraine and Russia) that allow us to look in the future towards other markets, Germany and France in the first place for the cereal sector, or the U.S. and Canada for fertilizers,” he added.
Patuanelli had said last week that the European Union -- for which Ukraine is one of the main suppliers of corn (maize) for the livestock sector - should delay implementing policies that curb agricultural production and suspend state aid rules for the agrifood industry given the supply crisis.
Reporting by Federico Maccioni; editing by Gianluca Semeraro and Keith Weir
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