The World Bank has affirmed the forecast for growth of Ukraine’s GDP at 2.7% in 2019, World Bank Country Director for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine Satu Kahkonen has said.
In 2018, GDP growth was 3.3%, in 2019, the growth would slow down, she said at a press conference in Kyiv on Thursday.
The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has improved the forecast for forex reserves as of late 2019 from $20.6 billion to $21.2 billion, from $21.4 billion to $21.9 billion as of late 2020 and from $21.4 billion to $21.8 billion as of late 2021. According to data released by the central bank on Thursday, the assessment of the deficit in the consolidated balance of payments for 2019 has also been improved from $1.1 billion to $0.3 billion, while for 2020-2021 it is confirmed at the level of $0.1 billion and $0.7 billion respectively.
At the same time, the NBU worsened the forecast of the current account deficit: for the current year – from $4.5 billion to $4.9 billion, for the next year – from $5.6 billion to $5.8 billion, and for 2021 – from $6.2 billion to $6.7 billion
In relation to GDP, the assessment of the current account deficit for 2019 is worsened from 3.1% of GDP to 3.3% of GDP, for 2020 it is confirmed at the level of 3.6% of GDP, and for 2021 it is worsened from 3.9% of GDP to 4% Of GDP.
As reported, at the end of 2018, Ukraine had forex reserves of $20.8 billion, a surplus of the consolidated balance of payments of $2.9 billion and a current account deficit of $4.5 billion or 3.4% of GDP.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in April raised its forecast for corn exports from Ukraine for the 2018/2019 marketing year (MY, July-June) by 500,000 tonnes compared with the March forecast, to 29.5 million tonnes.
According to the report on the USDA’s website, the increase in the export forecast is associated with a large harvest. The forecast of corn harvest in Ukraine was increased by 305,000 tonnes, to 35.8 million tonnes.
In addition, the USDA retained the forecast of wheat exports from Ukraine in the 2018/2019 MY at the level of 16.5 million tonnes, raised the crop forecast by 57,000 tonnes, to 25.057 million tonnes. The forecast for barley production was also slightly increased (by 204,000 tonnes, to 7.6 million tonnes), while the export forecast did not change (4.2 million tonnes).
In general, the U.S. agency raised its grain yield forecast in Ukraine to 69.7 million tonnes, exports to 50.4 million tonnes.
The USDA has not changed its forecasts for oilseeds processing (15.85 million tonnes) and oil exports (5.93 million tonnes), while the forecast for oil meal exports rose to 5.26 million tonnes (100,000 tonnes more) after a decline in the previous month.
Areas with sugar beets in Ukraine as of March 26, 2019 reached 20,000 ha, or 10% of the projections, the press service of the Ukrtsukor national association of sugar producers has reported.
According to the association, 11,000 ha were sowed with beets in Khmelnytsky region, 3,500 ha in Rivne, 2,700 ha in Volyn and 2,400 ha in Ternopil regions.
The association said that early sowing on 10% of the areas is thanks to the low soil moisture after winter, most beet growers plan to start sowing in the first decade of April.
As reported, Ukrtsukor predicts a reduction in the areas with sugar beet by 20%, to 220,000-230,000 hectares due to low prices in the past two years against the backdrop of a global sugar surplus. Sugar production in the 2019/2020 agricultural year (September-August) is projected at 1.5-1.6 million tonnes (in 2018/2019 agri-year 1.82 million tonnes).
Ukraine in the first half of 2018/2019 agri-year exported 274,400 tonnes of sugar, which is 6% less than in the previous season.
Ukraine’s Agricultural Policy and Food Ministry has revised upwards its forecast for exports of grain from Ukraine for 2018/19 agricultural year (July-June) from 47.2 million tonnes to 49 million tonnes, the press service of the ministry has reported. “This agricultural year we expect that grain exports from Ukraine would reach 49 million tonnes,” Deputy Minister Olha Kovaleva said.
As reported, Ukraine since the beginning of the 2018/2019 agri-year as of February 20, 2019 had exported 31.31 million tonnes of grain and leguminous plants, which is 21.5% more than on the same date of the previous agri-year. On the specified date, 164,000 tonnes of flour had been also exported.
The gross grain harvest in Ukraine in 2018 amounted to about 70.1 million tonnes compared to 62 million tonnes in 2017.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in December reviewed upwards the forecast for export of corn from Ukraine in 2018/19 agricultural year (July-June) by 1 million tonnes compared with the September forecast, to 28 million tonnes.
According to a posting on the website of the USDA, the forecast for corn harvest for 2018 is increased by 1.5 million tonnes, to 35 million tonnes.
Corn production in in Ukraine increased thanks to larger crops harvested, and if the forecast volumes are harvested the harvest forecast this month would exceed the previous record hit in 2016/17 agri-year by almost 20%, the department said.
USDA retained its forecast for export of wheat from Ukraine in 2018/19 agri-year at 16.5 million tonnes and the harvest forecast – at 25 million tonnes.
In general, USDA revised upwards the forecast for grain harvest in Ukraine by 1.5 million tonnes, to 68.7 million tonnes and grain exports – by 1 million tonnes, to 49.2 million tonnes.