Business news from Ukraine

UKRAINE EXPORTS 32.1 MLN TONNES OF GRAIN SINCE START OF 2016/2017 AGRI-YEAR

KYIV. March 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine since the beginning of the 2016/2017 agricultural year (July-June) and as of March 22, 2017 had exported 32.13 million tonnes of grain.
According to the Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food, the country exported about 14.29 million tonnes of wheat, 4.7 million tonnes of barley and 12.94 million tonnes of corn.
In addition, 269,200 tonnes of flour were exported.
As reported, with reference to the ministry, Ukraine in the 2015/2016 agri-year (July-June) exported 39.487 million tonnes of grain, which is 13.5% more than in the previous season.
According to the forecasts of the ministry, grain exports in the 2016/2017 agri-year could reach about 40 million tonnes.

FERREXPO POSTS SIX-FOLD RISE IN NET PROFIT IN 2016

KYIV. March 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Iron ore pellets producer Ferrexpo with key assets in Ukraine saw a six-fold rise in net profit in 2016, to $189.2 million.
According to a company report on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), its revenue last year grew by 2.6%, to $986.33 million.
Ferrexpo saw a 14% rise in gross profit, to $585.99 million, a 27.6% rise in operating profit, to $320.46 million and a 20% rise in earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), to $375 million.
The company said that net debt narrowed by 32%, to $589 million and the cash balance grew by over four times, to $145 million.
Capital investment last year dropped by 25%, to $48 million.
Pellet production in 2016 fell by 4%, to 11.2 million tonnes, while sales grew by 3%, to 11.697 million tonnes.

UKRAINE’S TRANSPORT ENTERPRISES INCREASE CARGO SHIPMENT BY 13% IN JAN-FEB

KYIV. March 22 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian transporters, apart from those in Crimea and Sevastopol and the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone, increased cargo transportation by 13% in January and February 2017 year-over-year, to 98 million tonnes, according to the State Statistics Service.
The service said cargo turnover increased by 16.6% year-over-year, to 54.1 billion tonne-kilometers.
According to the service, cargo transportation by rail in January and February 2017 increased by 9%, reaching 53.8 million tonnes.
Scrap ferrous metals shipments increased by 17.7%, construction materials by 60.7%, oil and fuel by 53.6%, grain and cereals by 43%. Timber shipments fell by 43.8%, coke by 17.8%, cement by 12.9%, chemicals and fertilizers by 12.2%, ferrous metals by 6.6%, coal by 5.9% and iron and manganese ore by 3.5%.
The share of foreign voyages of total transportation by sea and river transport was 97.1%, which is 30.6% down year-over-year.
In January and February 2017 Ukraine’s main pipelines transported more gas, oil and ammonia. Gas pumping grew by 19.5% and oil transshipment fell by 2.2%. Transit of gas increased by 31.4% and oil transit fell by 1.7% by 13.5%. Ammonia pumping fell by 71.4% and ammonia transit – by 71.4%.
Aviation companies transported 10,000 tonnes of cargo, which is 15% down year-over-year.

LOUIS DREYFUS AGRO-TRADER RECEIVES $100 MLN FROM EBRD TO EXPAND IN EASTERN EUROPE, CIS, APART FROM RUSSIA

MOSCOW. March 22 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Louis Dreyfus Company, an agricultural trading company, has received a $100 million revolving facility from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for regional expansion, the EBRD said in a report.
The funds will be sent to finance part of the working capital needs of Louis Dreyfus Company Group’s subsidiaries active in eight countries: Bulgaria, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkey and Ukraine. In Russia the EBRD has not been implementing new projects for almost three years.
Louis Dreyfus Company, founded in 1851, is a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods in the world. It accounts for 10% of international trade in goods.

GROUND FOR UKRAINE’S ECONOMIC GROWTH SHOULD BE ADVANCE TECHNOLOGIES, INVESTMENT IN INFRASTRUCTURE – BUSINESSMAN GRIGORISHIN

KYIV. March 22 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine has the real potential to become a laboratory of new technologies, Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Grigorishin has said.
“Ukraine has human resources, especially in engineering, needed to develop infrastructure wisely and to make use of technological advantages from more developed countries,” he said in an interview with U.S. publication Clean Energy posted on Tuesday.
The government should create programs to eliminate the existing GDP gap and to achieve economic growth of 6-8% annually during the next 20 years.
“If it does not do this, the country will not survive,” he said.
Grigorishin said that the country needs a new Marshall Plan. Today the amount could be worth $200 billion.
“This is not such a big sum for many countries. If Ukraine is given technologies and a market, we can achieve the growth rate I have mentioned,” he said.
Commenting of advantages of Ukraine, the businessman named “an educated and qualified population that can work for the space industry, for example, a good climate and good logistics.”
“Ukraine is a unique destination for infrastructure investments, with acceptable risks and high returns. Ukraine’s infrastructure is worn out, but this it is an excellent opportunity for Ukraine to build everything from scratch,” he said.
The businessman said that there is potential in new kinds of transportation, probably in the artificial intelligence realm as well as new kinds of chemical and food production, renewable electricity, energy storehouses (this will be a big new industry in the near future).
Commenting on reforms in the energy sector, he said that Ukraine should forget about coal and outdated plans for centralized heating.
“Instead, we believe green renewable energy is the future,” he said.
The best temporary solution for Ukraine during the transition is to have a “green phase” – new, combined-cycle natural gas power plants.
“If we enter into a partnership with the West, we will be able to create technologies for the new generation. We can also establish services and new investment in gas and oil production right here, localized in Ukraine. We need credit resources and the settling of the situation in Crimea and Donbas. And we need corporate partners and a long-term strategy with corporations at the level of General Electric, UTC and Boeing,” he said.
“It is silly to take seriously the economic nonsense that Ukraine is to become an agricultural superpower. Are we living in the 17th century? What is “an agricultural superpower”? Do we have to live in small villages and be farmers? Is it our future? Taking into account the fact that value-added in agriculture is low, it is impossible to become a superpower on the basis of agriculture,” he said.
Commenting on relations with Russia, Grigorishin said that Crimea will fade as a problem when Ukraine proves that its economic and social model is preferable.
He said that it does not mean that Ukraine should solve this problem via a military operation.
“Ukraine has many other tools: sanctions, political pressure to name a few. Ukraine needs this time to offer citizens of the Crimea persuasive arguments. It is not enough simply to say, “You must be Ukrainians and speak Ukrainian.” Ukraine must strive to become an attractive state that all people are willing to join,” he said.

UKRAVTODOR, CRBC START WORKING ON PROJECT TO BUILD KREMENCHUK BYPASSING ROAD WITH BRIDGE ACROSS DNIPRO RIVER

KYIV. March 22 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The State Automobile Roads Agency of Ukraine, also known as Ukravtodor, and China road and bridge corporation (CRBC) on March 21 signed a memorandum of cooperation in the sphere of designing and financing construction of M-22/E-584 Poltava-Oleksandria road on the section bypassing Kremenchuk with a bridge across the Dnipro River.
The press service of Ukravtodor said that Ukravtodor Head Slawomir Nowak and CRBC Vice President Du Fei signed the memo.
“Today the only bridge across the Dnipro River has only two moving traffic lanes. The bridge was opened in 1949. Its pillars were built in 1872. Along with city traffic, two important national roads go across the bridge: H-08 Boryspil-Kremenchuk-Dnipro-Zaporizhia-Mariupol roads and M-22 Poltava-Oleksandria road, which is part of the European corridor E-584 Poltava-Chisinau-Slobozia (Romania) and part of Pan-European transport corridor,” the agency said.
Nowak said that Kremenchuk is an important industrial center of the country, which annually generates around 4% of revenue of Ukraine’s national budget, while traffic across the Dnipro River is not comfortable, as the only bridge is located in the center of the city.
“The construction of the bridge in suburbs would help to redirect the transit traffic outside the city, which would unload the streets, make trips safer and improve the environmental situation. The new bridge would ensure not only the high-quality connection across the Dnipro River, but would promote for the increase of investment attractiveness of the Dnirpo basin region and create new jobs,” Nowak said.