Business news from Ukraine

LARGEST SUGAR PRODUCER IN UKRAINE “ASTARTA” WILL NOT PAY DIVIDENDS FOR 2021

Agro-industrial group Astarta, the largest sugar producer in Ukraine, refused to pay dividends for 2021 and will direct EUR94.1 million to the retained earnings reserve.
As stated in the message of the company on Friday night, such a decision was made by its shareholders meeting on Thursday.
Shareholders also approved Astarta’s continuation of the buyback program for up to 12.5 million shares (50% of those outstanding) at a maximum price of PLN125 per share.
In addition, the meeting delegated to the board of directors the right to issue shares and grant options in the amount of not more than 10% of Astarta’s authorized capital for one year.
The shareholders also instructed the board of directors to select an auditor company to audit the company’s financial statements for 2022. Candidates for the review include international drug companies Ernst & Young, KPMG, Deloitte & Touche, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Grant Thornton, BDO and Baker Tilly.
The meeting reportedly approved the replacement of Marc M.L.J. van Campen as a member of the company’s board of directors with Savvas Perikleous.
Astarta is a vertically integrated agro-industrial holding operating in eight regions of Ukraine. It includes six sugar factories, agricultural enterprises with a land bank of 220 thousand hectares and dairy farms with 22 thousand heads of cattle, an oil extraction plant in Globino (Poltava region), seven elevators and a biogas complex.
In 2021, the agricultural holding increased its net profit by 14 times compared to 2020 – up to EUR122.5 million, EBITDA – by 1.8 times, up to EUR201.5 million. Its revenue increased by 18.2% – up to EUR491.35 million, a third of which (EUR170 million) was generated by the production and sale of sugar.

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MOLDOVA STOPPED EXPORT OF WHEAT, FLOUR AND SUGAR

The temporary suspension of exports of wheat, flour and sugar will ensure Moldova’s food security until the next harvest, Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Viorel Gerciu said Thursday in parliament.
The minister did not predict the price of bread in autumn, but said that this year’s wheat harvest will be less than last year’s (900,000 tons instead of 1.7 million tons). But even this will be enough to cover domestic demand, which is estimated at 660,000 tons per year.
Referring to the supply of fertilizers in Moldova, disrupted due to hostilities in Ukraine, the minister said that the country consumes 270,000 tons of fertilizers annually. Until the end of February, the cost of this volume of fertilizers was estimated at $80 million, but now the price has risen to $220 million. “129,000 tons of fertilizers have already been imported to Moldova this year, which is enough to meet the needs of agricultural producers today,” Gerciu added.

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UKRAINE IN 2021/2022 MARKETING YEAR PRODUCED 1.4 MLN TONS OF SUGAR, WHICH COMPLETELY COVERS DOMESTIC DEMAND

Ukraine in the marketing year 2021/2022 (MY, September-August) produced 1.4 million tons of sugar, which completely covers domestic demand in the amount of 1.2 million tons, therefore, the excess of production over consumption eliminates the shortage of this product in the country , reported on the Facebook page of the Association “Ukrainian Club of Agrarian Business” (UCAB) on Friday.
“In 2021/22 MY, 1.4 million tons of sugar were produced, which is 44% more than in the previous year. The produced sugar is enough to cover Ukraine’s annual demand for sugar calmly and even with a margin. And given the fact that part of the population of Ukraine temporarily went abroad and the consumption fund also decreased, respectively, the transitional balance is increasing,” the UCAB specified.
The association recalled that during the sowing campaign in Ukraine, as of June 2, 181 thousand hectares have already been sown with sugar beet, which is 80% of the sown area of the previous year. In addition, a new season of sugar making will begin in four months to meet the needs of Ukrainians next year.
According to the UCAB, in the context of the Russian military invasion in Ukraine, there is a rush demand for basic food products. Each family is trying to stock up for more than one month, fearing food shortages and possible price increases. In turn, increased demand can lead to higher prices.
As reported, a number of countries have banned the export of sugar to meet their own needs. In May 2022, restrictions on its export were introduced by India, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, in April – by Belarus, in March – by the Russian Federation.

UKRAINE LIFTS BAN ON EXPORT OF SUGAR AND MILLET

The Government of Ukraine has canceled the ban (in the form of zero quotas) imposed on March 5 this year on the export of sugar and millet.

According to the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 549 dated May 7, sugar and millet are now included in the list of goods whose export is subject to licensing.

Earlier, the All-Ukrainian Agrarian Rada (VAR) proposed to the government to allow the export of millet, setting its quota of 80 thousand tons, since there is an excess of this crop in the country.

VAR referred to the data of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy for February 2022, according to which in Ukraine in the 2021/2022 marketing year (MY, July-June) 182 thousand tons of millet were produced, the carryover balance from 2020/2021 MY amounted to 18 thousand tons, while the average domestic consumption of millet in the country does not exceed 80 thousand tons, and export expectations for MY 2021-2022 – 80 thousand tons.

In addition, as of April 21, 2022, 4.8 thousand hectares of millet have already been sown in Ukraine, which is significantly more than on the corresponding date in 2021 – 0.9 thousand hectares.

This is the second such decision to lift the export ban. Previously, on April 10, it was replaced by licensing for live bovine animals (UKTVED code 0102), frozen bovine meat (code 0202) and meat and edible meat offal, salted or in brine, dried or smoked; edible flour from meat or meat by-products: cattle meat (code 021020).

Thus, rye, oats, buckwheat and salt suitable for human consumption, fertilizers (except nitrogen, for which the quota was increased to 210 thousand tons per quarter) remained on the list of zero export quotas.

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SALES OF SUGAR OF LARGEST UKRAINIAN PRODUCER “ASTARTA” IN FIRST QUARTER COLLAPSES BY ALMOST HALF

Agro-industrial holding “Astarta”, the largest sugar producer in Ukraine, in January-March 2022 reduced sales of this product by 44% compared to the same period in 2021 – from 58.14 thousand tons to 32.64 thousand. tons, while the average selling price on the domestic market increased by 14% – from UAH 16.14 thousand to UAH 18.45 thousand.
According to the report of the agrarian group on the Warsaw Stock Exchange on Wednesday evening, sales of wheat by the agricultural holding in the first quarter of this year increased by 2.6 times compared to January-March 2021 – up to 10.1 thousand tons, corn – by 2.8 times , up to 200 thousand tons, sunflower – 6 times, up to 21.5 thousand tons. Also, 71 tons of rapeseed were sold, which was not sold in the first quarter of 2021.
Milk sales for the specified period did not change, remaining at the level of 24.3 thousand tons.
In turn, the sale of soybean oil by Astarta in the first quarter of 2022 decreased by 2.1 times compared to January-March 2021 – to 12.6 thousand tons, and soybean meal – by 2%, to 39.1 thousand tons.
The agricultural holding clarified that the average cost of sugar sold in January-March 2021 increased by 14% compared to the same period a year earlier – up to UAH 18.45 thousand / ton, wheat – by 5%, up to UAH 8.3 thousand / ton, corn – by 34%, up to 7.5 thousand UAH / ton. At the same time, the average price of sunflower rose by 67% – up to 18.9 thousand UAH/ton, soybean oil – by 25%, up to 37 thousand UAH/ton, soybean meal – by 2%, up to 15.5 thousand UAH/ton. ton, milk – by 3%, up to 12.1 thousand UAH/ton.
Thus, taking into account the size of products sold and its average price, it is possible to estimate the estimated revenue of Astarta from the sale of sugar in the first quarter of this year at UAH 602 million, corn – UAH 1.5 billion, soybean meal – UAH 615.8 million , sunflower – UAH 407.6 million, milk – UAH 293.5 million, soybean oil – UAH 221.6 million, wheat – UAH 84.21 million, rapeseed – UAH 1.24 million. Accordingly, the total estimated revenue of the agricultural holding from the sale of these crops amounted to UAH 3.72 billion.
As reported, the agrarian group planned to transfer 1.1 thousand tons of food in the form of humanitarian aid to the Vinnitsa region, of which 530 tons have already been delivered to the region, while the Odessa region will receive 1.3 thousand tons of humanitarian aid (850 tons have already been delivered).
Astarta is a vertically integrated agro-industrial holding operating in eight regions of Ukraine. It includes six sugar factories, agricultural enterprises with a land bank of 220 thousand hectares and dairy farms with 22 thousand heads of cattle, an oil extraction plant in Globino (Poltava region), seven elevators and a biogas complex.
In 2021, the agricultural holding increased its net profit by 14 times compared to 2020 – up to EUR122.5 million, EBITDA – by 1.8 times, up to EUR201.5 million. Its revenue increased by 18.2% – up to EUR491.35 million, a third of which (EUR170 million) was generated by the production and sale of sugar.

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LARGEST SUGAR PRODUCER IN UKRAINE TO INVEST $15 MLN IN NEW SILO CONSTRUCTION

Agroholding Astarta, the largest sugar producer in Ukraine, is investing $15 million in the construction of a new silo in the city of Chernihiv. The decision of the board of directors of the group of companies was published on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) on Wednesday evening.
According to Astarta, the construction of this facility will will further strengthen the company’s network of seven grain and oilseeds handling facilities and expand its reach to Chernihiv region.
The total capacity of simultaneous storage of grain and oilseeds will be 70,000 tonnes. Commissioning of the first stage of the silo with a capacity of 58,000 tonnes is scheduled for July 2022.
Astarta is a vertically integrated agro-industrial holding operating in eight regions of Ukraine.

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