The European Commission is considering suspending import duties on certain livestock feed cereals to help hard-pressed EU meat producers. 

It follows EU Council of Ministers reports that high input prices are punishing the EU’s pigmeat industry. 

The UN Food & Agriculture Organisation cereal price index was up 3% in January to its highest level since July 2008. 

Moreover, Egypt – a major grain importer – has continued purchases, with food prices fuelling its political crisis. 

A European Commission official said Brussels’ agricultural markets management committee debated yesterday “ideas to suspend the cereals import duties on certain tariff quota until the end of the current marketing year (ending on 30 June 2011)”. 

This was a “reaction on the tight supplies on world cereals markets”. Boosting feed cereals imports would “reduce tensions on the European markets”.