The U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its forecast for grain exports from Ukraine for the 2017/2018 marketing year by 10 percent to 42.11 million tons, compared to its July forecast. The USDA also raised its forecast for Ukraine’s 2017 grain harvest by 3.9 million tons, compared to its July forecast, to 64.99 million tons.
• During the first half of 2017, exports of almost all Ukrainian agricultural products significantly increased compared to the same period last year, according to the State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection. Exports of live animals increased by nearly 60%; of meat up 46%; of dairy products up 22%; fats and oils of animal origin up 140%; of grain and cereal crops by 21%; of flour-milling and groats products up 37%; oilseeds up 21%; sunflower oil up 29%; and other vegetable or animal fats up 183%.
• Ukrainian sunflower oil accounts for 40% of the Chinese market, according to a Mirror of the Week article, citing officials at Delta Wilmar Group, the Ukrainian oil seed processor. China is the top importer of Ukrainian flour, importing 20 percent of Ukraine’s production this year.
• Lviv may gain direct flights to Gdansk, Poland’s busiest seaport and the center of the nation’s fourth largest metropolitan area. Talks are under with Polish LOT Airlines, according to Avianews. In May LOT launched its third daily Lviv-Warsaw flight. In June, the airline began to operate flights from Lviv to Poznan, and in August, from Lviv to Bydgoszcz.
• Motor Sich Airlnes, based in Zaporozhye, is offering to restore air service to Ternopil airport after a decade-long gap. Under the plan, Motor Sich would offer regular flights from Kyiv Zhulyany to Ternopil and onward to Rzeszow, Poland, 300 km due west of Ternopil. Regional air service is recovering in Ukraine and air links to Poland are expanding.
• Visa free travel to the EU is draining workers from Rinat Akhmetov’s Zaporizhstal steel plant. Plant director Rostislav Shurma told Politeka website: “We have a problem with the outflow of staff associated with visa-free travel, and our challenge is to organize the work so that, with a large outflow of personnel, we can keep production and the plant continues to work efficiently at full capacity."
• Ukrainian company Practika and Turkish company Delta Defense are reportedly negotiating the sale of 680 light armored vehicles to the Bangladeshi Army, according to DS news site. In what would be a five-year contract, the Bangladeshis want to acquire 600 multifunctional armored cars Tur-K2 and 80 Tur-K3. Tur-K3 is an Ataman armored vehicle.
• Over the next five years, Antonov plans to build 70 airplanes largely for export, the press service of Ukroboronprom said Sunday. Production is to include 20 An-178 military transport aircraft for customers in CIS countries, Asia, Africa, and Turkey. For the civilian market, Antonov plans to return to the regional passenger aircraft market.
• Ukraine’s slow internet speeds have been quantified by Speedtest, the mobile Internet global index Of a ranking of 122 countries for speed of mobile internet, Ukraine ranks 109. The average speed of the Ukrainian mobile Internet when downloading is 8.46 Mbps per second. For broadband Internet speed, Ukraine came in 39th place -- 34.2 Mbps per second. According to Speedtest, the fastest mobile Internet is in Norway, the Netherlands and Hungary. Leaders in the category of broadband Internet are Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong. This fall, Ukraine is to hold tenders for 4G. Today, 78 countries have 4G, including most of China and India.
• Of Ukraine’s 90 solvent banks, 70 were profitable in the first half of 2017, receiving a net profit of 8.22 billion hryvnia. During the same time, 20 banks unprofitable with an aggregate net loss of 10.07 billion hryvnia, according to the National Bank of Ukraine.
With Bitcoin values breaking records, the National Bank of Ukraine indicates it may regulate the use of crypto currencies. The legal implications of crypto currencies will be discussed in two weeks at the next Financial Stability Board of Ukraine meeting. Citing different approaches taken by other countries, the banking authority wildraw comments from the Ministry of Finance, State Fiscal Service, State Financial Monitoring Service, Securities and Stock Market State Commission and National Commission for the State Regulation of Financial Services Markets.
• Ukrainian police arrested a man accused of spreading the NotPetya malware, used in a cyber attack that knocked thousands of companies offline in June. An unnamed 51-year-old in the southern city of Nikopol was detained by the state cyber-police last week after a raid was carried out at his home. Police say the man uploaded malware to a file-sharing account and shared a link on his blog with instructions on how to launch the malware. The malware was downloaded about 400 times, police say.
• On Tuesday, Matt Simpson, CEO of Black Iron Mine Inc. a Toronto-based iron ore exploration and development company, will talk to investors about the company’s Shymanivske project located in Kryviy Rih. Simpson will discuss the merits of the project, the political environment in Ukraine, and his outlook for iron ore prices moving forward. The interview will start at 10.00 a.m. EST. Those interested in learning about Black Iron can send questions to Simpson to firstname.lastname@example.org and then join the broadcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGMkIv2ykDU.
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