Business news from Ukraine

Foreign direct investment of France and Spain in China increased 5-7 times in January-February

The volume of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the economy of mainland China in January-February 2024 decreased by 19.9% compared to the same period last year and amounted to 215.1 billion yuan ($30 billion), according to the Ministry of Commerce.

In particular, the inflow of foreign investment in the high-tech sector increased by 10.1% to 28.27 billion yuan.
At the same time, France’s foreign direct investment in China in January-February increased by 6.9 times in annual terms, Spain’s – by 5 times, Germany’s – by 2.4 times.
Over two months, 7.16 thousand new enterprises with foreign capital were registered in the country, which is 34.9% more than in January-February 2023, Xinhua reports.

“The 34.9% growth is the highest in the last five years. This indicates that multinationals are still optimistic about the development opportunities of the Chinese market,” a ministry spokesperson told the agency. – “Despite the decline in the volume of actually utilized FDI in the first two months, this is the third highest figure in the last ten years.

“At present, the favorable factors for attracting foreign investment in China outweigh the unfavorable ones, and the investment prospects are still bright,” the ministry representative added.

As reported, the volume of FDI in 2023 decreased by 8% and amounted to 1.13 trillion yuan.

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Ukrainian corn started to rise in price on world markets due to growing demand for it from China, Turkey, Egypt and EU

Contrary to forecasts, Ukrainian corn has started to rise in price on world markets due to increased demand from China, Turkey, Egypt and the European Union, according to the analytical cooperative “Pusk”, created within the framework of the All-Ukrainian Agrarian Council (AAC).

“The expectations of the trade that with the arrival of a new corn crop from Argentina on the world market, demand and prices for Ukrainian grain would fall, did not materialize. Argentine new crop is sold at higher prices than Ukrainian corn. We can predict a rise in prices for corn from Ukraine in the coming weeks,” the analysts said.

According to them, China is actively contracting Ukrainian corn. Other importers, such as Turkey, Egypt, Italy, and Spain, have also started buying a lot of Ukrainian corn. In seaports, the conditional prices for it have risen to $142-145/ton and have been increasing for a week and a half. The supply is sinking, while demand is stable.

“It can be predicted that amid demand, prices will add $2-3 per tonne per week and reach at least $150/tonne on a CPT basis by the end of March,” the experts emphasized.

They said that in April, the main factor of corn price changes will be the information on the grain harvest in Brazil. In April, there will be more reliable information about the harvest in Brazil: the planted areas, soil moisture, and crop condition. This will affect the global market. If the drought continues in Brazil and the harvest is reduced, the price will rise. But for now, this is one of the scenarios. In case of rainfall in Brazil, the situation on the global corn market will be different.

On a DAP basis, Ukrainian corn is traded for delivery in March-April to Italy, Austria and Germany in the range of $192-197/ton, Pusk summarized.

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China opens its market for Ukrainian honey

Ukraine and the People’s Republic of China have agreed on the terms of exporting Ukrainian honey to China, and now Ukrainian honey producers can supply their products to the country, the press service of the State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection reported.

“Thanks to the coordinated work of the State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as with the support of the Embassy of Ukraine in the People’s Republic of China, all stages of approval of the certificate for honey exports to China have been completed. The procedure for opening the honey market in China, which began in 2019, has been officially completed and the market is open to domestic exporters,” the State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection said on Thursday.

According to the head of the service, Serhiy Tkachuk, this is the first export market that the agency opened in 2024.

“A lot of work has been done, many meetings and negotiations have been held, and the state control system in Ukraine has been audited. We plan not to stop, but to continue working to ensure the uninterrupted export of Ukrainian products in order to strengthen economic stability and increase jobs in our country,” Tkachuk emphasized.

The approved form of the health certificate for the export of honey from Ukraine to China is available on the official web portal of the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection in the section “International Cooperation” under the heading “Certificates for export from Ukraine”.

The agency also advised potential honey exporters to familiarize themselves with the guidelines for state veterinary inspectors of Ukraine and market operators who intend to export honey to China.

“The Chinese market is very promising for the export of Ukrainian products and its opening for Ukrainian honey significantly expands opportunities for domestic producers,” the State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection expressed confidence.


Ukraine has started to form list of corn and soybean exporters for export to China

The State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection (SSUFSCP) has reminded interested parties about the formation of the List of corn and soybean exporters to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the List of storage facilities for these goods for further export to China.

As explained by the press service of the Ministry, this is done to ensure compliance with the requirements of the protocol of phytosanitary and inspection requirements for the export of corn and soybeans from Ukraine to China.

The documents confirming the phytosanitary procedures of the corn and soybean growing and storage facilities in order to include a person in the Lists must be sent to the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection by October 16.

The agency reminds that the grounds for refusal to issue a phytosanitary certificate or a phytosanitary certificate for re-export are the non-compliance of the regulated objects with the requirements of the phytosanitary measures of the importing country.

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China may face deep housing crisis – Wall Street Journal

China’s housing market is heading for a new crisis that could be the country’s worst yet, The Wall Street Journal writes.

The bankruptcy of a major real estate developer, China Evergrande Group, two years ago triggered a wave of developer defaults, and the industry’s problems have had a negative impact on the Chinese economy as a whole.

Now, China’s largest private developer, Country Garden Holdings, is in a difficult position. Unlike Evergrande, whose problems were caused by excessive wastefulness, Country Garden’s difficulties are related to the withdrawal of investors and buyers from the real estate market.

The situation with Country Garden could pose much more serious problems for the Chinese economy than Evergrande’s default in 2021, the WSJ notes. Much of Country Garden’s operations are concentrated in industrial zones that have been the engine of growth for the Chinese economy in the best of times. Now, these regions are experiencing financial difficulties and facing an outflow of residents, making it likely to be difficult for them to cope with the collapse of a major developer.

Economists expect that the problems in the residential real estate market will have a negative impact on consumer confidence, which will prolong the decline in activity in the sector. Real estate and related industries account for about a quarter of China’s GDP.

“The whole industry is in trouble,” said Kenneth Rogoff, a Harvard University economics professor. Small and medium-sized cities are experiencing particularly serious problems.

Construction volumes have been exceeding demand for several years, leading to a huge oversupply of housing, and the market needs to be adjusted, Rogoff said.

“How do you prevent the Chinese population from panicking when they see that a significant part of their wealth could collapse? It’s not easy,” the expert says.

As of June 30, Country Garden was involved in more than 3 thousand projects involving millions of homes. The company’s total liabilities, including sold but not delivered homes, debts to suppliers and banks, as well as bonds, are estimated at $186 billion, with the bulk of them due within a year.

The developer recorded a record loss of about $7 billion in the first half of the year, writing down the value of a number of assets.

Last month, Country Garden missed interest payments worth $22.5 million on two issues of dollar-denominated bonds, but managed to find the funds to make them during a 30-day grace period, avoiding default. Chinese lenders have granted the company a grace period for repayment of some of the RMB bonds.

Country Garden’s new home sales in August were down 70% compared to the same month a year earlier. If sales do not recover, the developer faces default, analysts say.


“TAS Agro” starts producing rapeseed oil and exports it to China

TAS Agro Group has made the first shipment of 1,500 tons of rapeseed oil to consumers in China, the agricultural holding’s press service reported on Facebook.

It is specified that TAS Agro has been processing rapeseed, sunflower and soybeans on a tolling basis at its partners’ plants for the second year in a row. As explained in the agricultural holding, in conditions of low profitability, increasing the added value of products through the development of processing is perhaps the only way to achieve a positive result.

“The realities of wartime force farmers to change, be flexible, and look for new strategic solutions. TAS Agro made the right decision to start processing rapeseed, as it is more profitable to sell oil than raw materials. Last season was the first experience of processing for our agricultural holding, and the financial results are positive,” said Anton Zhemerdeev, Deputy CEO for Commercial Affairs.

According to him, the agroholding has added new specialists to its team and is now focused on extending logistics to end consumers and opening new markets to generate additional margins.

TAS Group was founded in 1998. Its business interests include the financial sector (banking and insurance segments) and pharmacy, as well as industry, real estate, and venture capital projects.

Before the war, the TAS Agro group of companies cultivated 83 thousand hectares in Vinnytsia, Kyiv, Kirovohrad, Chernihiv, Mykolaiv, Sumy, Kherson, and Dnipro regions, was engaged in dairy farming (up to 5.5 thousand cattle), and owned six elevators with a one-time storage capacity of 250 thousand tons.

The founder of TAS is Sergey Tigipko.

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