Business news from Ukraine


The agro-industrial group Kernel, due to the blockade of Ukrainian seaports by Russian warships, reduced the rate of export of agricultural products by 90% compared to the pre-war period, from 7.5 million tonnes per year to approximately 750,000 tonnes per year, the group said, citing its CEO Yevhen Osypov.
“Today, Kernel’s export performance has reached only 10% of pre-war results, despite the fact that we export more than 7.5 million tonnes of the products annually. We, like colleagues from other companies, are constantly working on alternative channels for the sale and delivery of products,” his words are quoted in a message from Kernel on the group’s Facebook page on Monday.
According to Osypov’s forecasts, the war unleashed by the Russian Federation could lead to a 40% reduction in sunflower oil exports. Taking into account its exports in the 2020/2021 marketing year (MY, September-August) at the level of 5.13 million tonnes, in the current MY 2021/2022, supplies to foreign markets may be reduced to 3.1 million tonsne.
“The war can become a humanitarian catastrophe for the whole world, but we are doing everything possible to ensure food security,” Kernel’s CEO stated.
As reported, before the Russian military invasion, Ukraine monthly exported up to 5 million tonnes of agricultural products through the ports of Odesa and Mykolaiv, however, due to the blockade of these ports by the aggressor country, Russia, Ukraine can transport no more than 500,000 tonnes of grain monthly, which leads to a monthly shortage of $1.5 billion in export earnings.



Kernel, one of the largest Ukrainian agro-industrial groups, in the third quarter of the 2022 financial year (FY, January-March 2022), reduced sales of vegetable oil (sunflower and rapeseed) by 28% compared to the same period of the last FY – from 371, 9 thousand tons to 269.1 thousand tons, the total processing of oilseeds – by 38%, from 901.6 thousand tons to 562.8 thousand tons.
According to a report published on the company’s website on Friday night, the decline in production and sales of oilseeds and vegetable oil was caused by the blockade of Ukrainian seaports by warships of the aggressor country of the Russian Federation, as a result of which the active harvesting, processing and export of grain and sunflower oil was stopped.
Similarly, in the nine months of FY2022 (July-2021 – March-2022), Kernel sold 906.3 thousand tons of sunflower and rapeseed oil (-17% compared to 9 months of FY2021) and processed 2.0 million tons of oilseeds ( -21%).
In the third quarter of FY2022, the group of companies reduced the volume of agricultural products supplied to its elevators by 53% compared to the third quarter of FY2021 – to 50.9 thousand tons, while in 9 months. 4.1 million tons of agricultural raw materials were delivered to elevators in FY 2022, which is 10% more than in 9 months. FY2021.
Kernel also noted with regret that due to the unprovoked military aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, five of its employees were killed.
“Since the beginning of the war with Russia, more than 1,100 of our employees have been mobilized into the Armed Forces of Ukraine or joined the terrorist defense units. Of these, 180 have been demobilized and returned to work. No significant damage has been caused to any of the most important objects or infrastructure of the group. Two oil extraction plants of the group are located in the temporarily occupied territory, and access to such facilities is limited,” the agricultural holding stated the results of the Russian military invasion.
The total export of agricultural crops by Kernel in the third quarter of FY2022 increased by 17% compared to the same period of the last fiscal year, to 2.1 million tons, while exports were carried out mainly in January and February and were almost completely absent in March. Over the reporting period, 77% of export deliveries were received from external suppliers, and the rest of the agricultural crop was grown by the Kernel agricultural holding.
Agropromgroup also clarified that in the third quarter of FY2022, the share of its exports in the total volume of grain crops exported from Ukraine amounted to 17%, and for 9 months of FY2022 – 24%.
According to Kernel, in the third quarter of FY2022, it transshipped 2.08 million tons (+1% compared to the same period in FY2021) of agricultural products through its own grain terminal Transbulkterminal (Chernomorsk, Odessa region) – and in nine months of FY2021 – 7.27 million tons (+15%). It is noted that in the third quarter of FY2022, the grain terminal worked exclusively in January and February, before the start of the war unleashed by Russia on February 24.
“The group is working on creating alternative export routes. Rail logistics to the EU countries is very difficult, with numerous bottlenecks that make it impossible to achieve any significant export volumes until supplies are resumed through the Ukrainian Black Sea ports,” – summed up the agrarian group in the message. Before the war, Kernel ranked first in the world in the production of sunflower oil (about 7% of world production) and its export (about 12%), and was also the largest producer and seller of bottled sunflower oil in Ukraine. In addition, the company was engaged in the cultivation of other agricultural products and their sale.
The largest co-owner of Kernel through Namsen Ltd. is Ukrainian businessman Andrey Verevsky with a share of 39.28%.
The agricultural holding in the financial year 2021 (FY, July 2020 – June 2021), increased its net profit by 4.3 times compared to FY 2020 – up to $513 million, its EBITDA increased 2.1 times – up to $929 million, revenue – by 38%, to $5.65 billion.

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Kernel, one of the largest Ukrainian agrarian groups, will begin paying dividends for FY2021 (July – June) from February 15, payments will be $0.44 per share, which is $0.02 per share more than in FY2020.
According to the company’s statement on the Warsaw Stock Exchange on Tuesday evening, the decision on the payment of dividends and their amount was made by the shareholders at the general meeting held on December 10, 2021, while on January 4, its board of directors determined the payment date.
In total, $36.97 million will be allocated for the payment of dividends.
Kernel’s current share price is PLN 57.1 (2.7% less) over the week, while over the year it increased by 15.7% from PLN 49.35.
As reported, the agricultural holding paid $35.3 million in dividends for FY2020 on January 14, 2021 at the rate of $0.42 per share.
On April 30, 2020, the group of companies paid out $20.5 million in dividends for FY2019 in the amount of $0.25 per share, similar to FY2018.
Kernel is a manufacturer and exporter of sunflower oil, operating in the production, export and domestic sales of sunflower oil, crop production, export of grain crops, provision of services for storage and transshipment of grain at elevators and port terminals.



Kernel, one of the largest Ukrainian agricultural groups, held the third auction for the lease of grain carriages from its railway fleet for February-March 2022, a total of 220 cars were contracted for UAH 1,850-2,012 per day excluding VAT, the agricultural holding wrote on Facebook.
According to the agricultural holding, the auctions were held in the English auction mode (for the price increase). The lots included cars in batches of 10, 20, 30 and 50 units.
As reported, Kernel has successfully completed previous auctions for leasing grain cars from its railway fleet. On November 23, 2021, the first lease auctions were held, during which 220 wagons were contracted for UAH 1,800-2,000 per day excluding VAT.
As reported, Kernel in February 2019 acquired 100% of shares of the railway operator Rail Transit Cargo Ukraine (RTC Ukraine) for $64 million. The operator took the second place in Ukraine in the number of grain carriages after Ukrzaliznytsia (2,950 cars, 15% of the market).
Kernel is a manufacturer and exporter of sunflower oil, operating in production, export and domestic sales of sunflower oil, crop production, export of grain crops, provision of services for storage and transshipment of grain at elevators and port terminals. According to the agricultural holding, it ranks first in the world in production of sunflower oil (about 7% of world production) and its export (about 12%), and is also the largest producer and seller of bottled sunflower oil in Ukraine.



The agricultural exporter Kernel-Trade and the company specializing in wholesale trade in metals and metal ores Polyus Trading topped the list of the largest recipients of budgetary value added tax (VAT) refunds in August with an indicator of over UAH 1 billion, according to data of the State Treasury Service.
According to them, Kernel-Trade received almost UAH 1.6 billion of VAT refunds last month, Polyus Trading – UAH 1.095 billion, while there is no information on the budgetary refund of this tax to these companies in July.
The top five largest recipients of budgetary VAT refunds in August were also two steel plants – Zaporizhstal – UAH 407 million (in July – UAH 282 million) and ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih – UAH 386 million (UAH 315 million), as well as the agricultural exporter ADM Ukraine – UAH 231 million (UAH 159 million), the State Treasury Service said.
The second top five in the list are opened by Poltava Mining and Processing Plant – UAH 182 million (UAH 187.3 million) and Pivdenny Mining and Processing Plant – UAH 170 million (there are no data on reimbursement in July).
The top ten are closed by Viterra Ukraine – UAH 163 million (UAH 194.7 million), Yeristovo Mining and Processing Plant that topped the July list – UAH 157 million (UAH 383 million), as well as AGT – UAH 144 million (UAH 306.2 million), according to the treasury data.
The third five largest recipients in August looked like this: Mykolaiv Alumina Plant – UAH 121 million (UAH 120 million), Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant – UAH 110 million (UAH 190.5 million), Optimusagro Trade – UAH 96 million (UAH 144 million), and Leoni Wiring Systems UA GMBH – UAH 94 million (UAH 200 million).
Two more companies received over UAH 90 million in VAT refunds in August: Nika-Agrotrade – UAH 91 million (UAH 143 million) and Mondelez Ukraine – UAH 90 million (UAH 45 million).
According to the State Treasury Service, in general, in August 2021, budgetary reimbursement decreased to UAH 10.78 billion compared to UAH 11.15 billion in July and UAH 11.99 billion in June.

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Kernel, one of the largest Ukrainian agrarian groups, intends to increase grain exports from Ukraine from 8.5 million to 10 million tonnes in the 2021/2022 fiscal year (July-June), Kernel CEO Andriy Verevsky said during a conference call with analysts.
“We plan to export more than 10 million tonnes of grain in the next fiscal year,” he said.
According to the company, in January-March 2021, Kernel reduced grain exports from Ukraine by 15% compared to January-March 2020, to 1.8 million tonnes.
Kernel said that in the first nine months of the current FY it has fulfilled 75% of its plan for the export of grain from Ukraine, which the company set for this year at 8.5 million tonnes.
In October 2020, the agricultural producer announced plans to increase grain exports from Ukraine in 2020/2021 FY by 20.3%, to 9.5 million tonnes, and sunflower crushing by 1.7%, to 3.5 million tonnes.
Kernel is a large producer and exporter of sunflower oil.

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