Ukraine will be able to export 50 million tons of grains and oilseeds from the 2023 harvest, as well as about 10 million tons of vegetable oils and meals to global markets, said Mykola Gorbachev, president of the Ukrainian Grain Association.
“We planned to export about 5 million tons per month. However, in the first four months (the grain marketing year starts in July – IF-U) this did not happen. We were unable to increase shipments through the Danube ports, which accounted for 3.5-3.7 million tons per month. With the launch of the grain corridor, the ports of Greater Odesa have a lot of potential. It is possible to ship 3-4 million tons (of grains and oilseeds – IF-U) per month through the ports of Greater Odesa alone,” he said at the Business Breakfast with Forbes Ukraine on Wednesday.
In total, Ukraine will be able to export about 6 million tons of grain a month through the sea corridor and across its western borders, according to the UGA president’s estimates, which was already done in November.
“We will be able to work harder, increase (exports – IF-U) a little bit more, and I think it will be technically feasible to supply 50 million tons of grains and oilseeds to foreign markets,” Gorbachev said.
He added that Ukraine will produce another 10 million tons of agro-processed products, including vegetable oils and meals.
“We will sell most of the grain and manufactured products. For us, this is more than 50% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings, which stabilizes the hryvnia. I think the state has little choice: either the harvest will rot or it is better to sell it. Of course, it’s better to sell,” said the UGA president and expressed confidence that traders will cope with this task if the military ensures the safety of shipping at the current level.
Gorbachev emphasized that in 2023 Ukraine managed to maintain its status as the world’s breadbasket, as farmers grew 81 million tons of grains and oilseeds against domestic consumption of 23-24 million tons. He emphasized that Ukraine produces three to four times more crops and processed products than it consumes, so the agricultural sector is clearly export-oriented.