London (FWN)--The European Commission will probably approve a lower import tariff on Eastern European grain in early November, allowing it to come into force Nov. 9, a spokesman said Oct. 15. The tariff cut would end a supplemental duty of 10 euros per tonne, bringing the level down to match the import tariff on grain from all other origins.

The European Union Grains Management Committee had voted on the tariff cut Oct. 11 but there were not enough votes to either approve it or block it. Under EU rules, this automatically sent the matter back to the Commission, which had proposed the lower tariff in the first place.

The Commission's formal approval is virtually automatic in such circumstances.

EU officials had said a primary aim of the planned tariff cut is to provide more competition to the EU's own grain, in order to force its typically higher prices downward in a bid to make it more attractive to buyers both inside and outside the EU.

Prices of EU grain futures declined Oct. 12 after the Grains Management Committee's vote made it clear that the tariff cut would be implemented.

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