4:15 AM Sunday, March 25, 2018
North Africa, Southeast Asia Buy More Ukrainian Wheat
Ukraine takes market share from EU exporters to Africa, and from Australian and Canadian exporters to SE Asia.
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KYIV -- Ukraine's grain export market share increased in Southeast Asian and North African markets from July through October, according to consulting firm UkrAgroConsult.

The Asian market shares grew "at the expense of decreased export shares of Australia and Canada," according to Olena Hesova, the grain and oilseed market analyst at UkrAgroConsult. Ukraine’s market share in Africa grew at the expense of European exporters, she wrote.

Ukraine shipped about 1.3 million metric tons to Thailand, compared to 1.1 million tons in the same period last year. Shipments to Bangladesh more than doubled, from 428,000 to 933,000 tons, while exports to Indonesia grew from 625,000 to 943,200 tons.

Wheat exports to Morocco jumped from 189,000 to 510,000 tons and to Algeria from 106,000 to 126,000 tons. Exports to Egypt, a more important market, declined however, dropping from 903,000 to 784,000 tons.

"Key sellers continue competing in outlet markets of Asia, Africa and the near east," Hesova wrote.

These trends track with figures compiled earlier by the US Department of Agriculture. USDA recorded Ukraine exporting 11 million metric tons of wheat between July 2015 and January 2016, a 29 percent increase compared to the same period the previous year.

This included "four-fold growths of exports to Thailand; 4.8-fold increase to Indonesia and a 67 percent increase to Bangladesh."

In the 2015-2016 marketing year (July 2015 through June 2016), Ukraine's exports were boosted by increased domestic production and a worldwide slump in wheat prices, according to the USDA.

Exports Up, Domestic Consumption Down

Some of increased exports came at the expense of domestic grain consumption, which is likely to drop to a 13-year low in the 2016-2017 season, according to the USDA and UkrAgroConsult.

"These changes have been driven by population and its purchasing ability decrease, as well as reduction of demand from the livestock farming industry," which is faring far worse than the grain segment, according to UkrAgroConsult grain expert Elizaveta Malyshko.

Ukraine might face severe winter conditions that could entail winter crop loss of 15 percent, compared to an average 2 - 7 percent crop loss, which would shrink its inventories significantly.

The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food estimates that Ukraine will export 41.6 million tons of grains in the 2016-2017 marketing year. Key markets for Ukrainian grain include China, the Near Aast, North Africa and Western Europe, according to the ministry.

For comments and news tips, please email UBJ Kyiv Correspondent Igor Kossov at

Slider Photo: New grain silos were inaugurated last May at an export terminal in Nikolaev. (Credit: UNIAN/Yuriy Bagryantsev)

Inside Photo: In August, grain is harvested in Sumy Oblast, northeast Ukraine (Credit:UNIAN/Vladimir Lyakh)
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