Business news from Ukraine

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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Demand for new buses in Ukraine increased by 23%

Initial registrations of new buses (including minibuses) in Ukraine in February 2014 increased by 22.7% compared to February last year, to 108 units, according to statistics released by Ukravtoprom.

At the same time, the demand for buses decreased by 9.2%, or 11 vehicles, compared to January 2014.

According to the report, the Ukrainian Ataman was the market leader with 40 buses registered: in February last year, it was second with 22 vehicles. The second place went to Etalon, the leader of last February, whose registrations decreased by 14 units to 30 buses.

Citroen took the third place, just like a year earlier, with 10 buses (one more), and Volkswagen was fourth again with 9 vehicles (5 units more).

Ford rounds out the top five with eight buses registered, compared to three a year earlier. In February last year, the top five was closed by Ukrainian ZAZ, but in February of this year, these buses were not registered.

At the same time, registrations of Turkish buses in February by Temsa amounted to only 1 unit against 13 in January this year. This brand reportedly plans to significantly strengthen its position in Ukraine, particularly in the school bus segment.

Thus, in January-February 2024, the first registrations of buses in Ukraine decreased by 30.6% compared to the same period in 2023 – to 227 units.

In 2023, the total number of new bus registrations of all classes in Ukraine amounted to 1,701 units, which is 86% more than in 2022.


Demand for electric vehicles in Ukraine increased 2.3 times

In February, registrations of electric vehicles (new and used) in Ukraine increased 2.3 times compared to the same month in 2023 – up to 3.924 thousand units, including the share of new ones at 24%, Ukravtoprom reported on its Telegram channel.

The bulk of the electric vehicles registered during the month were passenger cars – 3,881 thousand units (new – 926 units, used – 2,955 units), and only two of the 43 commercial vehicles were new.

The top five new electric cars on the market in February were formed by: Volkswagen iD.4 – 257 units; BYD Song Plus – 104 units; Honda eNS1 – 96 units; Nissan Ariya – 71 units and Honda M-NV -49 units.

The TOP-5 of the first-time registered used cars in January included Nissan Leaf – 416 units; Tesla Model 3 – 380 units; Tesla Model Y – 279 units; Volkswagen e-Golf – 210 units and Hyundai Kona Electric -161 units.

As reported, in January of this year, Ukrainians purchased more than 3.5 thousand electric vehicles, which is 2.8 times more than in January 2023, with the share of new cars amounting to 24%.

In total, 7.5 thousand electric vehicles were registered for the first time in Ukraine in two months, 2.5 times more than a year earlier.

In 2022, according to Ukravtoprom, registrations of electric cars in Ukraine increased 2.8 times to 37.6 thousand, with new cars accounting for 20% compared to 17% a year earlier.


Demand for Ukrainian grain is growing in Indonesia

Export sales of Ukrainian wheat are steadily growing. Since the beginning of February, more than 2 million tons have been contracted, which could be a record volume of deliveries for the season. As of March, 1.4 million tons of wheat have already been sold.

This issue was discussed on February 20 during the weekly briefing organized by the analytical center of the First Agricultural Ukrainian Cooperative (FUAC), created within the Ukrainian Agri Council.

“Traders say that Indonesia is very actively involved in purchases of Ukrainian feed wheat. This Asian country has sky-high prices on the domestic market and is interested in importing grain. The demand price from Indonesia is USD260-265/t CIF. It is very profitable to export Ukrainian wheat to Indonesia. The fly in the ointment for these plans is the conflict in the Red Sea, where there is a high risk of shelling of the merchant fleet. This is still a systemic problem that negatively affects trade in the Black and Mediterranean Seas. The risk is holding back Ukrainian traders from fixing their positions in this direction. The market expects that in the second half of March, the passage of ships through the Red Sea may stop completely. A logistical solution would be to detour ships by sea through Africa, but this will raise the cost of freight by USD10-12 per ton,” was mentioned by the FUAC.

Ukrainian wheat continues to be the cheapest on most markets.

“Last week, Ukraine sold wheat with a protein content of 12.5% to Egypt at USD224 per ton for delivery to Egypt. For comparison, Russian wheat cost USD245 on an FOB basis. Ukrainian wheat is very cheap compared to other grains in the EU, Egypt and Turkey. The trade tries to keep prices low so that it makes sense to trade on many bases. Price gaps are large, which keeps the CPT market at low levels. Nevertheless, there are more and more sellers of wheat on FOB basis, many farmers are willing to sell for USD195 per ton at the Danube ports. At the same time, on CPT terms, wheat costs USD175-188 per ton, and by the end of the week, the price tags may lose another USD2 per ton,” added the analytical department of the FUAC.

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Leading medical clinics in Ukraine report stable demand for diagnostic services

The demand for diagnostics and endoscopic examinations has not declined critically since the start of the full-scale war, but the financial factor had a significant impact on the decline in demand, experts interviewed by Interfax-Ukraine believe.

“At the beginning of the full-scale invasion, for objective reasons, the demand for medical services, among which diagnostics plays a significant role, decreased. However, unlike in other areas, the direction of medical services to relatively safe regions of the country did not have critical consequences. Obviously, this is due to the large number of temporarily displaced persons, including many children and young people who are working,” said Yaroslav Mudry, an endoscopist at the Leleka Multidisciplinary Medical Center.

At the same time, according to him, “against the background of general inflation, the cost of endoscopic diagnostics has also increased.”

He emphasized that, just like before the full-scale war, Ukrainians’ visits to medical institutions for diagnostics are most often caused by symptoms of existing diseases or control observations after treatment, in particular, control after tumor removal or diagnosis of tumors at late stages.

“Unfortunately, the level of preventive diagnostics and research is extremely low,” said Mudryi.

In particular, he emphasized that in Ukraine, compared to other European countries, the number of patients with colorectal cancer, which often has no symptoms, remains quite high, but “there is currently a positive trend, we see an increase in the number of cases of early diagnosis (screening colonoscopy).”

“I am convinced that this situation looks optimistic,” said the endoscopist.

At the same time, Mudryi emphasized that Leleka uses “all possible factors to increase the level of effective diagnosis of masses (colon polyps), which, in turn, will reduce the level of new cases of colorectal cancer.”

The clinic’s specialists help patients at the most difficult stage – preparation for the procedure, which helps to improve the quality of diagnosis, and during the examination they use additional accessories and disposable consumables to remove the tumors.

For her part, Lyudmyla Svatko, Head of Diagnostic Service at Adonis Medical Group, also noted that since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, “we have experienced a decrease in the flow of patients, but this was more related to the evacuation, but with the return of the population, the need for diagnostics has increased, even increased due to the exacerbation of health problems due to stress and adverse conditions.”

“We have returned to the pre-war level of utilization of our diagnostic departments, and we even see an increasing demand,” she said.

According to her, MRI of the head, cervical and lumbar spine, and knee examinations are currently in the highest demand among the population.

In addition, thanks to Adonis’ active cooperation with charitable foundations, the clinic conducts a significant number of studies related to military injuries, including the effects of shell shock, trauma, shrapnel detection, and studies related to preparation for further rehabilitation at the clinic.

In addition, Adonis notes an increase in demand for mammography and breast MRI among women, which doctors attribute to the constant stress Ukrainian women are under.

At the same time, Svatko noted that studies using large medical equipment, such as CT and MRI, are key to diagnosing the wounded and continue to be in demand among the study population.

“Unfortunately, we state the fact that patients have started to undergo annual examinations untimely due to the displacement and are coming with more serious diseases that require more complex studies,” she said.

At the same time, Svatko noted that Adonis is one of the few medical networks that have not stopped working since the beginning of the war and can always provide qualified medical care.

“Our diagnostic equipment has fully autonomous power sources in case of water and electricity outages, so we can see patients without reducing turnover regardless of the circumstances,” she said.

At the same time, Svatko estimates that the cost of servicing imported large medical equipment has increased since the start of the full-scale invasion.

“Now the service takes up most of the budget, we wait longer for repairs because it is related to logistics and the situation with carriers on the border with Europe. It has become more difficult to service and maintain the equipment,” she said.

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Demand for imported used cars in Ukraine increased by 41%

Initial registrations of used passenger cars imported to Ukraine from abroad in October 2023 increased by 41% compared to October 2022 – to 21.3 thousand units, which is 1% more than in September this year, the Ukravtoprom association reported on its Telegram channel on Monday.

According to the association, the largest share in the segment of imported used cars in October consistently belonged to gasoline cars – 44% (in September, too), followed by diesel cars – 31% (unchanged), electric cars – 17% (16%), cars with LPG – 5% (unchanged) and hybrids – 3% (4%).

Volkswagen Golf remains the leader in registrations (1544 units), and the top five remained unchanged: Renault Megane (1200 units), Skoda Octavia (960 units), Volkswagen Passat (785 units) and Nissan Leaf (573 units).

The TOP-10 of this market in October also included Volkswagen Tiguan (451 units), Tesla Model 3 (442 units), AUDI A4 (416 units), Ford Focus (411 units) and Nissan Qashqai (404 units).

The average age of used cars that switched to Ukrainian license plates in October is 9.5 years.

Overall, in January-October this year, 169.3 thousand used cars imported from abroad were registered for the first time in Ukraine, which is 3.4 times more than the number of new cars sold in the same period.

As reported, in 2022, Ukrainians registered 388.5 thousand imported used passenger cars, which is almost a quarter less than a year earlier, but more than 10 times more than the market for new passenger cars.

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