The Ukrainian Grain Association (UGA) in its August forecast predicts growth in grain and oilseeds production in the country in the 2019/20 agricultural year to 95.2 million tonnes (the previous forecast had 94.7 million tonnes), and exports – to 58.2 million tonnes (56.9 million tonnes).
According to the information on the association’s website, in the context of crops, changes relate to: wheat production is projected at 27.7 million tonnes (against 28.9 million tonnes in the previous forecast), exports – 21 million tonnes (20 million tonnes); barley production – 8.6 million tonnes (8.4 million tonnes), exports – 4.7 million tonnes (4.9 million tonnes); corn production – 34.5 million tonnes (32.2 million tonnes), export – 27 million tonnes (26 million tonnes).
As reported, the Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food of Ukraine predicts an increase in the grain harvest in 2019 under favorable conditions up to 70.8 million tonnes compared with 70.1 million tonnes in 2018.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicts a grain harvest in Ukraine this year at 72.6 million tonnes, exports – 51.4 million tonnes.
Ukraine in 2018 threshed over 70 million tonnes of grain and hit a record over all years of the country’s independence, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Oleh Churiy has said.
“We have a record grain harvest in all years of our independence – over 70 million tonnes. If we take into account oilseeds, this is over 100 million tonnes,” he said at a briefing in Kyiv on Thursday.
Currency income from agricultural products along with tough monetary and moderate fiscal policies was the key factors of strengthening of the national currency, he said.
Acting Agricultural Policy and Food Minister of Ukraine Maskym Martyniuk wrote on his Facebook page that in Ukraine the forecast for grain exports in 2018/19 agricultural year (July-June) was revised upwards from 42.5 million tonnes to over 45 million tonnes. Gradual exhausting of the agricultural infrastructure could hinder the implementation of the agriculture’s potential, he said.
Martyniuk said that the country has 170 markets where it sells agricultural products.
“In the past eight years Ukraine added 50 countries to the list of trade partners, losing one (but large one),” he said.
Construction of new grain and oilseeds transshipment facilities at the Mykolaiv seaport will start in the rear of berth eight. Private investment will total over UAH 1.2 billion, the Ukrainian Sea Port Authority has reported. “We are investing our own funds and are actively cooperating with port operators and private businesses. This is the development of the berth and rear infrastructure of berths zero and eight. This will increase the capacity of the Mykolaiv port for processing grain by more than 2 million tonnes per year, oil – by 750,000 tonnes per year,” Head of the Ukrainian Sea Port Authority Raivis Veckagans said during a working visit to the Mykolaiv seaport.
The Ukrainian Sea Port Authority refused to name investors, adding that this would be a new cooperation for the port. The Ukrainian Sea Port Authority plans to allocate UAH 350 million within the framework of fulfilling the company’s obligations under a public private partnership project for the construction and dredging of berth eight. At the same time, private investment in infrastructure will amount to over UAH 1.2 billion.
According to the Ukrainian Sea Port Authority, the planned grain complex will have a storage capacity of 96,000 tonnes, a warehouse – 40,000 tonnes, as well as other support facilities. Earlier, the Infrastructure Ministry reported that COFCO (China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation) is ready to invest up to $30 million in the berth capacity of the Mykolaiv port and river logistics.
Seaside Terminal intends to invest about UAH 120 million in the reconstruction of the Mykolaiv-Vantazhny railway station in order to increase its capacity.
Ukraine in 2022 would increase grain and oilseeds production from 90 million tonnes in 2018 to 100 million tonnes, President of the Ukrainian Grain Association (UGA) Mykola Horbachev has said. “We expect that by 2022 Ukraine will increase the production of grain and oilseeds to 100 million tonnes, exports will be up to 70 million tonnes. By this time, the port capacity will be enough to unload these volumes,” he said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
“This year we already have more than 90 million tonnes. This season we expect a record grain yield thanks to corn. We had 6 tonnes per hectare in good years before, and this year we already have 7.8 tonnes from 1 ha. We are approaching normal rates. For example, in the United States, the average corn yield is 11 tonnes per ha,” Horbachev said.
At the same time, according to him, next year we can expect a slight decline in cereal production, since the record corn harvest may not repeat.
“We predict a total grain and oilseed harvest of 92 million tonnes. If next year the corn harvest is usual, this figure will decrease by almost 9 million tonnes. But this is more associated with corn. We expect the same (that is, usual) harvest for major crops, since the acreage has not changed,” the president of the UGA said.
According to him, the export of grain without processing products for the current year is planned at the level of 52-52.5 million tonnes. However, companies may have difficulties with timely delivery of grain to ports due to difficulties with Ukrzaliznytsia.
“We can work at the level of 5 million tonnes of exports per month. But it must somehow be predicted: about 6 million tonnes of corn were sold in October-November, but it is not a fact that it will have time to get to the port. Thus, some companies had a situation when they could not ensure the availability of cargo in the port. They purchased grain in Argentina or Brazil and supplied it from those countries, not from Ukraine,” Horbachev said.
Astarta agroindustrial holding, the largest sugar producer in Ukraine, in 2018 harvested 183,000 tonnes of oilseeds, which is 20% more than a year ago, the company’s press service has reported. “In particular, 67,000 tonnes of soybeans and 116,000 tonnes of sunflower were harvested with an average yield of 2.9 tonnes per ha (2017 – 2.2 tonnes per ha of soybeans and 2.3 tonnes per ha of sunflower, respectively),” the company said.
According to the press service, at present, Astarta continues harvesting corn: 65% of the area is threshed with an average yield of 9 tonnes per ha.
“In general, in the current season, the company expects for the first time to overcome the mark of 1 million tonnes of gross harvest of grain and oilseeds,” the agricultural holding said.
Astarta is a vertically integrated agro-industrial holding operating in Poltava, Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky, Ternopil, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Cherkasy and Kharkiv regions.
Nika-Tera maritime terminal (Mykolaiv), part of Group DF of Dmytro Firtash, is increasing its oilseeds storage capacity to 30,000 tonnes, according to a press release of the port. According to the company, the port is continuing work on commissioning the second phase of a transshipment complex for oilseeds.
According to the report, the volume of cargo transshipment at Nika-Tera port since the beginning of the year amounted to 3.7 million tonnes, which is 10% more than in the same period of 2017, while for the nine months of the current year 221 vessels were handled.
“A significant increase in the volume of transshipment was provided by cargo that was not previously processed in the port: oil, granulated meal and bran, as well as new items of bulk freight,” the press service said citing commercial director of the port Valeriy Salnykov.
Nika-Tera is a highly mechanized marine terminal, part of Group DF’s port business.
The terminal includes four specialized complexes: grain, for transshipment of fertilizers, bulk freight, and liquid cargo.