The European Commission looks set to put forward a plan to suspend duties on cereal imports.

EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel will shortly propose suspending EU import duties on cereals for the current marketing year - until June 30, 2008.

The proposal, expected in the next few days, comes at a time of cereal shortages, with record high prices.

Duties that would be included under the proposal would include those on maize of EUR1.93 (US$2.73) a tonne, soft wheat at EUR12 a tonne and barley at EUR16 per tonne.

The 2007 cereals crop is estimated below last year's level because of because of dry and unusually hot weather in April followed by adverse summer weather in Western Europe, with drought and heatwaves in southeast Europe.