Business news from Ukraine

Ukraine will increase soybean production by record 19%

In 2024, the production of oilseeds in Ukraine will increase by 19% compared to 2023 to 2.3 mln ha, which will be a record for the industry, APK-Inform news agency reported based on the results of the survey among farmers.

According to the survey, conducted in February-March 2024, 82% of the respondents, who grow soybeans, plan to keep the area under soybeans unchanged, and 16% intend to increase it. The increase will be due to the reduction of the area under winter crops, as well as sunflower or other spring crops.

The soybean area in 2024 may increase to 2.3 mln ha (+19% by 2023), which will be a new record for the industry. Previously, the maximum for this crop was 2.2 mln hectares in 2015, analysts predict.

They also expect the production of soybeans in Ukraine to reach a record level, which, according to preliminary estimates, could reach 6 mln tons, which is 17% higher than last year.

At the same time, according to experts, the area under sunflower is not likely to change significantly: 87% of the respondents who grow the crop plan to keep the area under it unchanged. Those who plan to reduce or increase the area under sunflower mostly reported that it will be at the expense of rapeseed.

“Our estimate of the sunflower acreage in 2024 is still 5.8 mln ha, which is almost at the level of 2023. Under favorable weather conditions, the oilseed harvest could reach 13.9 mln tonnes (+1% compared to 2023), which is still lower than the pre-war figure,” the analysts emphasized.

The area under rapeseed in 2024 is likely to decrease due to the dry autumn, which led some farmers to abandon the winter oilseed planting.

In the survey, 51% of respondents reported that winter rapeseed crops are in good or excellent condition, 43% – in satisfactory condition, and 5% – in poor condition.

The area under spring rapeseed may also increase in 2024 to the record level due to the price attractiveness of this oilseed, but the total area under winter and spring rapeseed, according to APK-Inform preliminary estimates, will decrease by 6%. This figure will still remain quite high compared to previous years, amounting to about 1.4 mln ha. The harvest of this oilseed may decline by 9% in 2024, to 4.2 mln tonnes, APK-Inform summarized.

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Ukraine increased soybean processing to record level of 184 thsd tonnes

In November 2023, Ukraine increased the soybean processing to the highest monthly volume since April 2020, which amounted to about 184 thsd tonnes, up 17% compared to October and 43% compared to November 2022, APK-Inform news agency reported.

“Despite the difficulties with the formation of the raw material base of the plants due to the fierce competition with exporters, the main incentive to increase the processing was the high demand for soybean meal on the foreign market,” the analysts said.

According to the report, Ukraine exported 160 thsd tonnes of meal in three months of 2023-2024 marketing year, up 45% compared to the same period of the previous season and the highest for September-November in the last four seasons.

The main importers of Ukrainian soybean meal were Poland with the share of 58% and Hungary with the share of 24%, according to APK-Inform.

Astarta resumes $60 mln soybean deep processing project

Astarta Agro Holding, Ukraine’s largest sugar producer, will resume construction of an additional deep soybean processing line at its Globinsky Processing Plant (GPP, Poltava region) in the fourth quarter of this year, which will allow it to produce up to 100,000 tons of concentrated soy protein per year.

“The project was announced in 2021 at a cost of $50 million, and now it is estimated at about $60 million, taking into account inflation,” said Yulia Bereshchenko, Business Development and Investor Relations Director of the group of companies, at a conference call with investors and analysts based on the company’s results for the first nine months of 2023.

According to her, the investments will be spread over three years – this year and the next two, and the project will be financed mainly from free cash flow.

As reported, Astarta announced the start of construction of this line in mid-September 2021. The GPP itself was commissioned in early 2014, with a design processing capacity of 230 thousand tons per year, and will remain at this level. The plant is capable of producing about 160 thousand tons of high-protein soybean meal, 40 thousand tons of soybean oil, and 9 thousand tons of granulated shell annually. The enterprise also includes storage facilities for finished products and an elevator with a capacity of 42 thousand tons, as well as the necessary engineering, road and rail communications. Before the war, more than 80% of GPP’s output was exported to the EU, the Middle East and the Far East. Most of the soybeans for processing are grown by the agricultural companies of the agricultural holding.

In the fall of 2021, Bereshchennko indicated that the construction of an additional line for deep soybean processing at the GPP would double EBITDA in the soybean segment and increase revenue.

“Astarta is a vertically integrated agro-industrial holding company operating in eight regions of Ukraine. It comprises six sugar factories, agricultural enterprises with a land bank of 220,000 hectares and dairy farms with 22,000 cattle, an oil extraction plant in Globyno (Poltava region), seven elevators and a biogas complex.

In the third quarter of 2023, the agricultural holding earned EUR1.24 million in net profit, down 27.7 times compared to the same period in 2022. Astarta’s revenue decreased by 14.4% to EUR104.75 million, gross profit by 2.7 times to EUR26.96 million, operating profit by 7.6 times to EUR6.79 million, and EBITDA by 42.7% to EUR97.25 million.

Due to significantly better performance in the first half of this year compared to the first half of last year, in the first 9 months of 2023, net profit decreased by 9.8% to EUR 55.97 million, while revenue increased by 14.8% to EUR 392.00 million. The company’s gross profit increased by 3.0% to EUR 151.91 million, while operating profit decreased by 15.9% to EUR 79.91 million and EBITDA by 10.8% to EUR 116.63 million.


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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Soybean exports from Ukraine reached record 3 mln tons

Soybean exports from Ukraine in September-June 2022/23 marketing year (MY), according to operational data, reached almost 3 million tons, which has already become a record seasonal volume of shipments to foreign markets in history, exceeding the previous maximum of the 2016/17 season as a whole (2.9 million tons), the analytical agency “APK-Inform” reported.

“The main importer of Ukrainian oilseeds in the current season remains the European Union with a share of 47% against 40% in 2021/22 MY and an increase in relation to exports in the same period of the previous season in 3.1 times,” the analysts noted.

At the same time, according to the agency, Turkey retains the 2nd place in the ranking of importers of Ukrainian soybeans with a share of 32% against 36% in total exports of this product from Ukraine in the last MY. In this country for 10 months of 2022/23 MY supplies increased by 2.4 times.

Analysts also pointed to a significant increase in shipments to Egypt, especially in May-June of the current season. The share of this country in total soybean exports from Ukraine increased to 15% against 2% in the season 2021/22, while the volume of oilseed shipments in this direction increased 17 times to 440 thousand tons.



Ukraine in the 2019/2020 MY (September-August) reduced the processing of soybeans by 33.4% due to the growth of their exports, against the doubling of processing soybeans in the 2018/2019 MY.
According to a report on the website of the Ukroliyaprom association, more than 1.8 million tonnes of soybeans, which is 70% of their total exports from Ukraine in 2019/2020, were exported in September-December 2019 (export growth during this period against the corresponding period in 2018 exceeded 250%). For the first time, enterprises were forced to import soybeans in Ukraine.
In the 2019/2020 the production of soybeans amounted to 3.7 million tonnes, of which 1.2 million tonnes were refined for oil, 2.63 million tonnes were exported (for $ 864.9 million). Deliveries were made to Turkey (31.6% share in total exports), the EU (26.6%), Egypt (16.6%) and other states, the association said.
“Due to the limited resources of soybeans, the production of soybean oil and meal in 2019/2020 MY decreased by 8.1% and 9.9%, respectively. A particularly significant decrease in the production of these goods was observed in January-August 2020, respectively by 14.6% and 16.8% (compared to the corresponding period in 2019),” Ukroliyaprom said.
According to the association, in the 2019/2020 MY, the export of soybean oil increased by 0.2%, the export of soybean meal decreased by 9.7%.
Ukroliyaprom’s forecast as of October 1, 2020 for the 2020/2021 MY provides for a decrease in the soybean yield by 18.9%, to 3 million tonnes and a reduction in soybean areas by 14.9%, to 1.34 million hectares.