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Ukraine Poised for an Increase in Grain Exports
Ukraine Poised for an Increase in Grain Exports

Ukraine Poised for an Increase in Grain Exports

  • 15-Feb-2024 4:43 PM
  • Journalist: Robert Hume

The USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) projects a notable increase in Ukrainian grain exports for the remaining duration of the 2023/24 marketing year, spurred by the resumption of operations at major Black Sea ports. The USDA's report, dated February 6, 2023, highlights the impact of Russia's withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain initiative (BSGI) in July 2023, which led to attacks on Ukraine's grain infrastructure, causing a temporary dip in Ukrainian grain exports to 2 million tonnes in September.

However, by December, the volume of grain exports rebounded significantly to 5.2 million tonnes. This resurgence is attributed to a decrease in the frequency of strikes and Ukraine's establishment of a new export corridor. The FAS anticipates further growth in grain exports for the 2023/24 season (July-June), forecasting an 8% year-on-year increase in corn exports to 29.2 million tonnes, a 3% rise in wheat exports to 17.7 million tonnes, a substantial 22% increase in barley exports to 3.3 million tonnes, and a remarkable nearly tenfold surge in rye exports to 170,000 tonnes.

The report suggests that if Ukraine maintains an average monthly export rate of around 4 million tonnes for all grains combined throughout the remainder of the marketing year, the country is poised to export the majority of the harvest. This would leave an estimated 5 million tonnes as ending stocks for the 2023/24 season. The USDA underscores the importance of considering potential disruptions due to attacks on port infrastructure and the flow of vessels, emphasizing the need for uninterrupted operations to meet these export estimates.

Additionally, the USDA notes the improving efficiency of Danube River export routes and the trans-shipment capacity at the Port of Constanta in Romania. This enhancement in logistics provides added opportunities for maintaining export levels. However, the increased export estimates are contingent on the absence of major damage resulting from attacks on port infrastructure and the smooth operation of incoming and outgoing vessels.

In a separate Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report, the FAS projects a year-on-year production increase for Ukraine's major grain crops in the 2023/24 season. Specifically, wheat production is expected to rise by 11% to 22.5 million tonnes, corn production is anticipated to increase by almost 17% to 30.5 million tonnes, and barley output is forecasted at 5.9 million tonnes, representing a 2% increase from the 2022/23 season. The projections indicate a positive outlook for Ukraine's grain sector, with increased production and exports contributing to the country's agricultural resilience and economic growth.

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