Business news from Ukraine


Romania has announced a tender for the repair of a broad-gauge railway connecting its Danube river port of Galati and the Moldovan river port of Giurgiulesti in order to transport grain from Ukraine without changing the rolling stock, since exports from Ukrainian seaports are blocked by warships of the aggressor country of the Russian Federation.
On the relevant statement of the Minister of Transport of Romania, Sorin Grindeanu, MP of Ukraine Dmitry Solomchuk (Servant of the People faction) wrote on his Telegram channel on Monday.
“Romania plans to urgently repair the old broad-gauge railway connecting the port of Galati from Giurgiulesti, located across the border with Moldova, so that freight trains loaded with grain from Ukraine can reach the ships without wasting time changing wheels at the border. A tender has been announced,” the MP said. in the social network.
According to Solomchuk, the advantage of the port of Galati is the ability to load both river and sea vessels.
Transportation of Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea remains the cheapest solution, despite the increase in the cost of ship insurance due to the Russian blockade of the Black Sea.
“Minister of Transport Sorin Grindeanu said that this Danube port, together with the port of Constanta, will become one of the key points in the region for the transport of goods and raw materials. Ukraine exports most of its grain to North Africa, and the Black Sea is the shortest route. Alternatives would be through the port Gdansk or Trieste, but the routes would be much longer,” the deputy summed up.
As reported, the Ukrainian and Romanian relevant ministries at the end of March began negotiations on the export of agricultural products from Ukraine through European seaports, including the Romanian port of Constanta.
The first cargo of Ukrainian corn weighing 71 thousand tons since the beginning of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine left the Black Sea port of Constanta on April 29 to the recipient.
The countries bordering Ukraine have responded to its problem with the export of agricultural products and have already significantly simplified the procedures for registering freight traffic or are actively working on it. In particular, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, as well as Italy, Turkey, Bulgaria, Georgia, Denmark, Greece, Austria introduced liberal conditions for Ukrainian carriers.
Before the Russian military invasion, Ukraine monthly exported about 5 million tons of agricultural products through the ports of Odessa and Nikolaev, but now, due to their naval blockade by the Russian Federation, it can transport about 500 thousand tons of grain monthly. This leads to a monthly shortfall of about $1.5 billion in export earnings for the country.

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Tariffs for the transportation of grain cargo by rail in Ukraine in January-March 2022 increased by 15% compared to the first quarter of 2021, and by 6.5% compared to the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the website of the State Service Ukrainian statistics.
In its report, the agency does not provide data on the growth of the tariff rate in monetary terms.
In the first quarter of 2022, the tariffs for the transportation of chemical and mineral fertilizers increased more significantly – by 41.7% compared to January-March 2021, while the tariff for the transportation of timber increased in price similarly to grain cargoes – by 15%.
In general, tariffs for freight transportation by rail in Ukraine increased by 25.4% in the first three months of 2022.

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Lithuania is ready to help Ukraine export unsold volumes of grain from last year’s harvest, Lithuanian Minister of Communications and Transport Marius Skuodis told reporters.
According to him, grain can be transported through Poland to the port of Klaipeda. Companies have already submitted proposals.
“We have been working with the Ukrainians for several weeks now, the most important thing is coordination with the railways. Several companies have already received specific proposals for transportation from the Ukrainian-Polish border to the port of Klaipeda,” Skuodis said.
At the same time, he noted that the main problem lies in the different width of the railway track of the Russian and European types.
“It is rather difficult to switch from Russian standard tracks to European ones in Poland, then to the Kaunas intermodal terminal and beyond. These are issues related to the availability of wagons and other things,” Skuodis said.
According to him, a trial train is already planned, which should leave in the coming weeks.
“The trial run is scheduled for April. We are ready for our part, we just need customers, and we can try in late April – early May, then we’ll see. Of course, the most direct route will be through Belarus, but this country is involved in certain military operations, therefore it would be impossible,” Skuodis said.
Grain export from Ukraine was disrupted due to Russia’s military actions on Ukrainian territory.
According to the head of the European Commission in Lithuania, Marius Vashchega, Ukraine occupies 10% of the world wheat market, 13% – barley, 15% – corn, more than 50% of the sunflower oil market.

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Ukraine in the current season can grow and harvest 63 million tons of grain and oilseeds, approximately from 20 million hectares.

The corresponding estimates of the possible harvest were published on the website of the Ukrainian Grain Association (UGA) on Monday.

“Ukraine, in the conditions of aggression from Russia, will still be with grain. This year, despite the fact that 5 million hectares cannot be sown or it will be impossible to harvest on them, Ukraine can receive about 63 million tons of grain and oilseeds from an area of about 20 million hectares. At the same time, the domestic market of Ukraine consumes about 30 million tons of grain and oilseeds annually,” the association’s report says.

In addition, subject to the reorientation of exports from seaports blocked by the aggressor country of the Russian Federation to land transportation, the country will be able to export up to 35 million tons of agricultural crops in the 2022/2023 marketing year (MY, July-June).

UGA recalled that Ukraine in the current MY 2021/2022 due to the Russian blockade of seaports will not be able to export about 20 million tons of grain, which will be forced to store in elevators as transitional balances for the next MY.

According to the association, today the capacity of alternative logistics routes bypassing seaports is 600,000 tons of crops per month, but this figure can be increased by increasing the capacity of railway and logistics crossings at the borders with EU countries. Thus, thanks to the optimization of logistics, the export of grain and oilseeds in MY 2022/2023 can be expected at the level of 35 million tons.

“The current developments of the government and the public in the field of logistics and exports allow expanding the throughput to 2 million tons of crops per month. To reach the level of exports of 35 million tons of grains and oilseeds per year, it is necessary to further expand the throughput at the EU borders to 3 million tons per month,” the UGA said.

According to her, the wheat harvest in Ukraine in the current MY will decrease by 1.8 times – from 33 million tons in 2021/2022 MY to 18.2 million tons, but this figure is almost three times more than Ukraine consumes wheat per year. Taking into account the transitional stocks of wheat of the last harvest of almost 10 million tons, exports of wheat in 2022/2023 MY, with such harvest indicators and taking into account large transitional stocks, can amount to about 10 million tons.

In addition, the country can harvest up to 6.2 million tons of barley this season (in 2021 – 10.1 million tons), so its export in 2022/2023 MY can be expected at the level of 2 million tons.

The corn harvest can be expected at the level of 23.1 million tons (in 2021 – 37.6 million tons), while its exports may reach about 20 million tons.

The rapeseed harvest can be expected at the level of 1.5 million tons (2.9 million tons), while its export in 2022/2023 MY is expected at the level of 1.3 million tons.

The soybean harvest can be expected at the level of 1.8 million tons (in 2021 – 3.5 million tons), and exports in 2022/2023 MY are projected at the level of 0.6 million tons.

“Thus, Ukraine will be guaranteed to have sufficient grain reserves, while the countries of the world will not receive a significant amount of grain from Ukraine due to Russia’s war against Ukraine and rising prices, which, according to UN estimates, could cause famine in many countries of the world. In particular, Ukraine traditionally exports about 30-35% of grain to the countries of North Africa and the Middle East, 30-35% to the countries of South and Southeast Asia, and about 35-40% to European countries,” the UGA concluded in its forecast.

As reported, before the Russian military invasion, Ukraine monthly exported up to 5 million tons of agricultural products through the ports of Odessa and Nikolaev, however, due to the blockade of these ports by the aggressor country of the Russian Federation, the country can transport no more than 0.5 million tons of grain monthly, which leads to a monthly shortage $1.5 billion in export earnings.

Ukraine in 2021, according to the State Statistics Service, harvested a record harvest of 85.7 million tons of grain and leguminous crops, which is 32% higher than in 2020, including 32.07 million tons of wheat (+28.9%), 41.87 million tons of corn (+38.2%) and 9.42 million tons of barley (+23.3%).

In addition, 593.9 thousand tons of rye were harvested in Ukraine (+30% by 2020), 471 thousand tons of oats (-7.3%), 204.2 thousand tons of millet (-20.2%) , 173.9 thousand tons of sorghum (+63.2%), 106.0 thousand tons of buckwheat (+8.5%), 48.6 thousand tons of rice (-20%), 32.3 thousand tons triticale (-7.8%), as well as 681 thousand tons of other leguminous crops.

Among other crops in the country last year, 16.38 million tons of sunflower were harvested (+25% compared to 2020), 10.8 million tons of sugar beet (+18.1%), 3.5 million tons of soybeans (+24. 4%), 2.92 million tons of rapeseed and 42 thousand tons of oilseed flax (an increase of 3.7 times).



The production of grains and oilseeds in 2022 in Ukraine is preliminary estimated at 53.3 million tons, which is 51% lower than the record figure of the previous season, due to the Russian military invasion and ongoing hostilities, this year’s harvest may be the lowest in the last 10 -15 years.
“We estimate the total production of grains and oilseeds in 2022 at 53.3 million tons, which is 51% lower than the record figure of the previous season. At the same time, for grains, the harvest may be minimal over the past 15 years, and for oilseeds – over the last decade,” such harvest estimates are given on the website of the APK-Inform agency on Thursday.
The organization clarified that for the 2022 harvest, the area under winter grain crops decreased by 7% compared to last year – to 7.6 million hectares, which practically coincides with the figure for 2020. At the same time, the area under spring grain and leguminous crops, the sowing of which began this month, due to the occupation of part of the territories and hostilities by Russian invaders, can be reduced much more significantly – by 39%, to 4.7 million hectares.
In turn, the total area sown with oilseeds in Ukraine in 2022 may be about 6.8-6.9 million hectares, taking into account the areas already sown under winter rapeseed.
At the same time, a change in the structure of oilseed crops is expected. In particular, the share of sunflower acreage is projected to decrease from 73% in 2021 to 61% in 2022, while the share of rapeseed will increase from 12% to 21%, and soybean from 15% to 17%.
It is specified that as a result of hostilities, the sowing campaign in nine regions of the country looks very dangerous: Chernihiv, Sumy, Kiev, Kharkov, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporozhye, Kherson and Nikolaev. Partially risky areas for sowing are currently noted in Zhytomyr, Poltava and Dnepropetrovsk regions.
The agency emphasized that in addition to a decrease in the area under crops, a general decrease in crop yields is expected in Ukraine due to the limited access of farmers to the necessary resources, such as fuel, fertilizers, plant protection products, etc. However, even the projected volumes of crop production are enough to meet the domestic food needs of Ukraine .
As reported, as of March 25, Ukraine sowed 150,000 hectares of agricultural land in regions where there are no active hostilities against the troops of the Russian invaders.
Due to the military aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, a decrease in the acreage of high-margin crops (sunflower and corn) is expected this season, while increasing the acreage of crops that are easier to produce, but important in terms of food security, peas, barley and oats.
In 2021, during the spring sowing season, Ukraine sowed 14 million hectares of agricultural land, including sunflower – 6.5 million hectares, corn – 5.3 million hectares, barley – 1.35 million hectares, peas – 0.242 million hectares, sugar beet 0.227 million ha, oats – 0.194 million ha, spring wheat – 0.176 million ha.

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In 2021, Ukraine harvested 85.7 million tonnes of grain and leguminous crops, which is 32% higher than in 2020, including 32.07 million tonnes of wheat (28.9% more), 41.87 million tonnes of corn (38.2% more) and 9.42 million tonnes of barley (23.3% more). Such final data on harvest volumes for the last year are published on the website of the State Statistics Service of Ukraine. In addition, 593,900 tonnes of rye were harvested in Ukraine (30% more compared with 2020), 471,000 tonnes of oats (7.3% less), 204,200 tonnes of millet (20.2% less), 173,900 tonnes of sorghum (63.2% more), 106,000 tonnes of buckwheat (8.5% more), 48,600 tonnes of rice (20% less), 32,300 tonnes of triticale (7.8% less), as well as 681,000 tonnes of leguminous crops.
Among other agricultural crops in the country last year, 16.38 million tonnes of sunflower were harvested (25% more compared to 2020), 10.8 million tonnes of sugar beet (18.1% more), 3.5 million tonnes of soybeans (24.4% more), 2.92 million tonnes of rapeseed and 42,000 tonnes of oilseed flax (an increase of 3.7 times).
In terms of fruit and vegetable crops, Ukraine in 2021 harvested 21.35 million tonnes of potatoes (2.5% more compared to 2020), 9.93 million tonnes of vegetables (2.9% more), 6.8 million tonnes of fodder corn (3.0% more), 5.17 million tonnes of fodder beet (6% less), 2.24 million tonnes of fruit and berry crops (10.7% more) and 0.26 million tonnes of grapes (8.3% less).
Most of all last year, the area under fodder corn decreased by 19.1% compared to 2020, to 216,400 hectares, rice – by 12.0%, to 10,000 hectares, sorghum – by 11.9%, to 41,600 hectares, while the largest increase in areas was recorded under oil flax (growth by 1.95 times), to 27,400 hectares, rye – by a quarter, to 172,900 hectares and buckwheat – by 9%, to 92,000 hectares.
The yield of the vast majority of agricultural crops improved last year. In particular, the yield of wheat was 4.53 tonnes per ha (19% more compared with 2020), corn – 7.67 tonnes per ha (36.5% more), barley – 3.82 tonnes per ha (18.6% more), rye and triticale – 3.44 tonnes per ha (3.6% and 2.1% more respectively), oats – 2.63 tonnes per ha (2.7% more), sorghum – 4.16 tonnes per ha / ha (86% more), millet – 2.35 tonnes per ha (46% more), other legumes – 2.19 tonnes per ha (13.5% more).
Also, the yield of sugar beet was 47.76 tonnes per ha (15% more compared with 2020), fodder corn – 31.5 tonnes per ha (27% more), fodder beet – 29.44 tonnes per ha (2% more), vegetable crops – 21.54 tonnes per ha (4% more), potatoes – 16.64 tonnes per ha (6% more), fruit and berry crops – 11.86 tonnes per ha (12% more), grapes – 7.58 tonnes per ha (0.3% more), rapeseed – 2.92 tonnes per ha (27.0% more), soybeans – 2.64 tonnes per ha (+29% more), sunflower – 2.46 tonnes per ha (22% more), oil flax – 1.55 tonnes per ha (39% more).
At the same time, the yield of rice decreased to 4.91 tonnes per ha (8.1% less) and buckwheat – to 1.15 tonnes per ha (0.9% less).
Thus, the total harvest of all indicated agricultural crops in Ukraine last year amounted to 165.1 million tonnes, while the harvest of grain, leguminous and oilseeds indicated by the State Statistics Service was 108.5 million tonnes.