The decline in Ukraine’s GDP in January-April 2021 slowed down to 0.2%, according to an estimate by the Ministry of Economy.
“The Ministry of Economy estimates a slight decrease in GDP at 0.2% (a 2% drop in the first quarter of 2021, by 4.9% in the four months of 2020),” the ministry said in its review of economic activity in April this year, posted on its website.
Ukraine should regulate its role in the issue of grain policy in global markets, in particular, it concerns phytosanitary issues, new approaches to the use of pesticides and issues of traceability of grain origin, the Ministry of Economy said on Wednesday.
“Usually we adopt EU policy and implement it in Ukraine, including trade issues. But this is not always necessary. We shall develop our own position. In particular, my task, as chairing the International Grains Council, is to attract attention of global markets to the grain policy of Ukraine,” Trade Representative of Ukraine Taras Kachka said.
The Ministry of Economy said that on June 8 Kachka met with GAFTA Director General Jaine Chisholm Caunt and members of the organization’s council to discuss possible cooperation between Ukraine and the International Grains Council and GAFTA. The ministry called this meeting especially relevant on the eve of the beginning of Ukraine’s chairmanship in the International Grains Council.
“It is important to deepen the dialog between trade institutions, such as the International Grains Council, GAFTA, WTO, because finding a balance in international trade is directly related to ensuring global food security. We see more and more ties between the business community of Ukraine and international trade institutions and consider the development of this dialogue is key in our trade policy,” Kachka said.
The Ministry of Economy recalled that GAFTA (Grain and Feed Trade Association) is an international trade association headquartered in London, consisting of grain traders, brokers and other specialists in the international grain trade. Founded on November 17, 1871 it has over 1,900 members in 100 countries.
The Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture maintains its forecast for the growth of Ukraine’s GDP in 2021 at 4.6%, Minister Ihor Petrashko, has said, commenting on a statement by Deputy Head of the Office of the President Yulia Svyrydenko about the expected GDP growth of 5.1% in 2021.
“We keep our forecast at 4.6%, the first quarter it is 3% down, so far for the two months it is 2.2% down,” Petrashko said in an exclusive comment to Interfax-Ukraine on Thursday on the sidelines of the Ukraine 30 forum.
This forecast takes into account the risks of additional lockdowns, the minister said.
“We hope that there will be no [strict quarantine restrictions]. Last year we predicted a 4.8% decline of the economy, but in fact we got a drop of 4.2%,” Petrashko said.
“There are no such talks [about an all-Ukrainian lockdown] for the entire Ukraine,” he said.
The Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine on August 17 signed an annex to the grain memorandum with grain market participants and agreed on the maximum grain export volume in the 2020/2021 marketing year (MY, July-June) at the level of 17.5 million tonnes of wheat and 1,000 tonnes of rye.
“The grain memorandum is a good example of the ability to negotiate and make balanced decisions. In our common opinion, the export of 17.5 million tonnes of wheat and 1,000 tonnes of rye for this marketing year is the benchmark that will preserve our internal food security. In addition, taking into account the coronavirus crisis, in the forecast balance, we have increased the volume of carry overs by half a million tonnes, to 1.7 million tonnes,” Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine Ihor Petrashko is quoted as saying.
In addition, depending on weather conditions and the final data on wheat production from the State Statistics Service, the forecast grain market balances may be revised by the signatories of the memorandum in the fourth quarter.
Now the Ministry of Economy predicts the grain harvest in Ukraine this year at 72.1 million tonnes.
The ministry clarified that the grain memorandum has been signed annually since 2011. The document provides for interaction of grain market participants, exchange of information, monitoring the grain market.
The Ministry of Economic Development, Trade, and Agriculture of Ukraine supported the concept of horticulture development until 2025 elaborated by the Ukrainian Horticultural Association (UHA) together with the Institute of Water Problems and Land Reclamation, the Institute of Horticulture and Melon Сultivation, the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade, and Agriculture and Ukrainian vegetable producers.
According to the press release of the UHA, the major problem, which the concept is aimed at, is to provide the population of Ukraine with quality vegetable and melon products, as well as the development of effective competitive production.
“The volume of vegetable commercial market in Ukraine according to different estimates is about UAH 60 billion in wholesale prices. The greatest challenge for the industry is the informal economy, reaching 75-80% of the total volume, which amounts to UAH 40 million in monetary equivalent. The share of retail chains, which pay VAT on sale in the Ukrainian vegetable retail market, does not exceed 15%. Moreover, price fluctuations in the internal market sometimes exceed 1,000% per year,” the Head of UHA, Fedir Rybalko, is quoted in the report.
Among other problems in vegetable production, he singled out the growth of vegetable imports and the decline in exports. He says that in 2019, exports fell to 70,000 tonnes, while imports reached almost 200,000 tonnes.
“We included five areas in the concept that could improve the situation in the sector. Addressing the issue of price fluctuations and unshadowing requires an incentive for smallholder farmers, family farmers and individuals to integrate into the civil market, allowing producers to gain access to government support and funding programs, and to obtain better prices for their products,” the head of the association noticed.
The Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine predicts growth of GDP in 2021 at 4.6% with inflation of 7.3%, according to a draft resolution put on the agenda of the Wednesday government meeting.
According to the document, in 2022, GDP would grow by 4.3% with inflation of 6.2%.
According to the draft resolution, export growth is expected 2.9% next year and 6.4% in 2022, while import growth is projected at 10.6% and 10%, respectively.
The trade deficit will amount to $10.4 billion in 2021 and $13.6 billion in 2022, the ministry said.