Mercosur stalled until November
The Mercosur trade talks have been kicked to touch until November, with the EU Commission admitting that it will not be in a position to agree the outline of a deal until later this year at the earliest.
The EU Trade Commissioner, Karel De Gucht, claimed recently that Europe would be ready to table an "exchange of offers" on market access by the end of June.
However, following the latest round of talks in the Paraguayan capital Asuncion last week, the EU Commission confirmed that the process has been delayed.
Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos confirmed that no date was set for the exchange of offers and that it would be "premature" to do so at the moment.
"We have not set any date. We want to ensure that the offers are of good quality and we should not allow timing to prevail over substance," Commissioner Ciolos said.
"When we will be ready we will jointly agree on a date for a simultaneous exchange," he added.
The Agriculture Commissioner also denied that there had been an oral exchange of offers on market access.
"We will do the oral exchange before the exchange of written offers. Since the work is still ongoing, it was premature to do it at this stage."