Gross production of soybeans in Ukraine in 2018 could be 4.2-4.3 million tonnes, which is 10% more than in 2017, Regional Director of the Donau Soja Association Oksana Prosolenko has said.
“It is expected that by the end of 2018, we will reach 4.2-4.3 million tonnes of soybeans. It is too early to predict the situation for 2019, given that the rules of the game have changed. You can estimate it at the end of winter and early spring,” Prosolenko told Interfax-Ukraine.
In the eight months ending August 2018, 3.426 million tonnes of soybeans were harvested, while for the whole of 2017, 3.8 million tonnes were harvested, President of the Ukrainian Association of Soybean Producers and Processors (Ukragropromsoya) Viktor Tymchenko said at the second Annual Agrarian-Practical Fat-and-Oil Conference in Kyiv on Thursday.
According to him, the average yield of soybean in 2018 is 2.53 tonnes from one hectare, while in 2017 the yield was 1.6-1.7 tonnes from one hectare due to adverse weather conditions.
Tymchenko also said that the export of soybeans for eight months amounted to 1.5 million tonnes of soybeans, whereas in 2017 – 2.8 million tonnes. The largest importer of Ukrainian soybeans is Turkey (700,000 tonnes of raw soybeans for processing). The import of Belarus has noticeably increased (from 70,000 tonnes to 200,000 tonnes), as the country built a plant for processing soybeans at the border with the EU.
At the same time, according to Prosolenko, Ukraine now has the opportunity of increasing the export of soybeans to EU countries.
According to Tymchenko, soybean export is complicated by the logistics problems of Ukrzaliznytsia. Prosolenko also said that although officially the cultivation of genetically modified soybeans in Ukraine is not allowed and does not officially exist, but in fact, 60-70% of soybeans are modified. It also complicates exports, the expert said.
According to the president of Ukragropromsoya, soybean processing in Ukraine is about 1 million tonnes: 751,000 tonnes of meal and 174,000 tonnes of oil. Export of meal amounts to 39,000 tonnes, oil – 166,000 tonnes.
At the same time, according to the expert, the increase in the processing of soybeans is unlikely, since Ukraine’s domestic sales market is shrinking due to the decrease in the number of animals fed with soybean meal.