Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina grains producers say EU ban will disrupt trade

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Grains producers in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina published on Tuesday a manifest criticizing the European Union’s anti-deforestation rules which, according to them, will disrupt grains trade across the globe.

Several months ago, the European Union passed rules banning the purchase of products linked with deforestation after December 2020, a move seen as “protectionism” by the South American food producers.

The EU rules took force in June and companies have 18 months to adapt.

According to the manifest signed by soybean, soymeal and corn producers of the three nations, the measures in the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) affects the “sovereignty” and “increase risks” for companies and food suppliers.

“The (EU decision) is a trade barrier disguised as an environmental measure that will bring considerable impacts on the cost of production, increase in food prices and will cause distortion of world trade,” the food growers said in the manifest.

Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina are responsible for 51.3% of soybeans and 15.2% of corn produced in the world, according to the manifest.

The criticism coincides with talks to finalize a comprehensive trade agreement between Mercosur, the South American trade bloc, and EU nations.

The EU and the Mercosur completed negotiations in 2019 but the deal has been on hold due to concerns about Brazil’s commitment to climate action.

The European Commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Roberto Samora; Writing by Carolina Pulice; editing by Ana Mano and Grant McCool)