The EU's trading partners are likely to be angered by plans to export a grain surplus that has developed in the last few months on to the world market. Bulging grain intervention stores were thought to be a thing of the past but problems have been caused by a massive harvest in 2004 in the Czech Republic and Hungary. Hungary faces particular problems as a landlocked country and the increased transport costs associated with exporting its grain.
The volume of grain in EU intervention stores has jumped from less than 4mt to more than 10mt since purchasing commenced in November. The Czech Republic and Hungary are facing problems in finding enough storage space for the surplus grain (mainly wheat). Commissioner Fischer Boel has said that the volume of grain has now reached a 'critical mass' and it is planned to open an export tender.