The European Commission (EC) eliminated EU import duties for corn, sorghum and rye on August 27, 2020, only four months after re-introducing duties for the first time since March 2018. The reintroduction of duties in April 2020 were allegedly triggered by the decline in U.S. corn prices after the COVID-19 crisis significantly reduced the demand for U.S. bio-ethanol production.
On Thursday, August 27, 2020, the EC reviewed EU import duties for maize, sorghum and rye, with Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1221. The EC set duties at €0 per metric ton (MT) as of August 27, 2020, only one day after lowering those duties to €0.26/MT, and down further from €5.48/MT imposed since August 12, 2020. The tariff is calculated in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) 642/2010 and based on the difference between the European and world reference prices for maize, or the cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) price delivered to the port of Rotterdam. Import duties for maize, sorghum and rye were reintroduced on April 27, 2020, at €5.27/MT, the first-time duties were imposed since March 2018. This is likely due to the decline in the CIF price of corn in the United States because of the fall in demand for bio-ethanol production, an outcome triggered by the economic fallout of COVID-19 crisis. The import duties have fluctuated several times since April. USDA