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15:22 PM Thursday, September 21, 2017
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UBJ AM Aug. 15, 2017
James Brooke
​Rail car bottlenecks delay grain at ports; NABU indicts 125 corruption suspects; Ukraine denies selling rocket engines to North Korea
image/svg+xml Kyiv Lutsk Rivne Zhytomyr Lviv Ternopil Khmelnytskyi Uzhgorod Chernivtsi Vinnytsia Chernigiv Sumy Kharkiv Poltava Cherkasy Kirovohrad Lugansk Dnipropetrovsk Donetsk Zaporizhzhia Mykolaiv Odesa Kherson Simferopol Sevastopol Ivano- Frankivsk

• Ukrzaliznytsia, the state railroad, warns that a shortage of grain hopper wagons is slowing the movement of harvest grain from farms to ports. About 40 percent of the nation’s grain hopper wagons now are concentrated in the Odesa region, near Black Sea ports. The railroad blames the growing bottlenecks on low quality grain whichis not passing sanitary controls. The railroad said it would ban sending grain wagons to stations that do not return its wagons in time.

• Ukraine’s GDP grew by 2.4 percent in the second quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2016, according to Gosstat, the State Statistics Service. By comparison, first quarter growth this year was 2.5 percent. Boosting growth are commodity prices and construction.

• Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau reports that, as of July 31, it is investigating 389 criminal cases, involving thefts totaling more than $3 billion. Indictments have been drawn up against 125 of 225 suspects.

• Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office charges that supplier invoices to the Defense Ministry were inflated last year by US$93.4 million in 2016. After inspections by Ukroboronprom's internal security service, 25 CEOs of state-run enterprises have been dismissed.

• Ukraine has denied a report by a Washington study center that North Korea probably obtained liquid propellant rocket engines made by Yuzhnoye State Design Office in Dnipro. The use of such sophisticated engines could explain recent, sudden advance in North Korea’s ICBM program. Michael Elleman, author of the International Institute for Strategic Studies report, said these powerful engines can be easily smuggled as one can be placed in a box slightly larger than a trunk. He speculated that they were bought from stocks in Ukraine or Russia, without the knowledge of the leaders of Ukraine, a US ally. In response, Oleksandr Turchynov, secretary of Ukraine’s Security and Defense Council, said Ukraine "has never supplied rocket engines or any kind of missile technology to North Korea." Yuzhmash, a state company, said it had not produced military-grade ballistic missiles since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The company does produce engines and rockets for civilian use.

• Registrations of electric vehicles jumped 165 percent during the first half of this year, compared to the first half of 2016. Nissan, maker of the Nissan Leaf, accounted for 85 percent of the 1,668 electric vehicles registered so far this year. Registrations jumped 186 percent in the second quarter, coinciding with announcements by France and Britain to stop selling traditional gasoline powered cars by 2040.

• Passengers flying on Ukraine’s 10 airlines jumped by 40 percent during the first half of this year, compared to the same period last year. Ukrainian airlines carried 4.7 million of the 7.1 million passengers traveling from Ukrainian airports, according to the State Aviation Service of Ukraine.

• Antonov aims to win certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency by late 2020 to ensure the switch of production facilities here to NATO standards, the company’s press service reports. During the same time, Antonov also plans to open regional servicing centers in India, South Africa, Columbia, Sudan, Bulgaria and Malta.

• JKX Oil & Gas Plc, the oil and gas company traded on the London Stock Exchange, reduced in Ukraine its average daily production during the first seven months of this year by 9.1%, compared to the same period in 2016. Gas production fell by 5.3%, and oil and condensate by 22.7%. At the same time, JKX’s Russia production declined even more sharply, by 23.9%.

• Energoatom, the operator of all four nuclear power plants in Ukraine, increased electricity production by 14% during the first seven months of this year, the company's press service reported. Energoatom released 49.2 million kWh of electricity to the market, 6.2 million kWh more than the same period last year. The utilization factor of Ukraine’s 15 nuclear reactions was 74.2%, compared to 64.7% for the same January to July period last year.

• A Hungarian company, First EU Center of Nuclear Fuel, wants to buy Ukraine’s stake in PrJSC Joint Ukrainian-Kazakh-Russian Enterprise for Nuclear Fuel Production. Ukraine’s State Property Fund announced a tender to privatize its one third stake in UkrTVS.. Bids will be accepted until August 22 and the auction will be held August 30.

• In time for the end of the air conditioning season, a third ship with 75,000 tons of South Africa anthracite coal has arrive in Yuzhny port for the Prydniprovska and Kryvy Rih thermal power plants of DTEK Energo.

• An auction of 25% in Odesaoblenergo is cancelled due to lack of bids. Scheduled for today, the auction would have sold shares in the regional energy supply company of Odesa, Ukraine’s largest region. In late July, the State Property Fund announced auctions for shares in eight regional energy supply companies and energy generating companies.

• By 2020, the government wants to place all 33 state-owned coalmines under the administration of a new state-owned enterprise, the National Coal Company, according to Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Kistion. He said: "It is easy to solve administrative issues in one state-owned enterprise. Managers will be able to more quickly and easily transfer equipment from unpromising coal mines to other facilities.”

• German’s Society for Investment and Development is contributing $10 million to an investment fund for small and medium-sized enterprises in Ukraine, the German Embassy in Ukraine reported. The fund, Emerging Europe Growth Fund III, extends long term loans primarily to export-oriented industries in IT, light industry, food industry, electronic commerce and health. Germany’s embassy said: "Germany's participation is a signal for other private and institutional investors."

• Austrian compressor manufacturer Bitzer has opened an office in Kyiv to offer sales and support to customers, largely supermarkets, restaurants, and shopping centers. The new office reports to Bitzer Austria and support its Ukrainian wholesalers Domus Frigus and Schiessl GmbH, according to Gianni Parlanti, Bitzer’s chief sales and marketing officer.

• Ukrainian farmers increased flour exports by 18.4% during the 2016/2017 marketing year, which ended June 30, according to the Ministry of Industrial Policy. Of the 407.6 thousand tons exported, the largest buyer was China, which bought 20 percent. Exports to the EU grew by 52 percent.

• Ukraine increased exports of vegetables to the EU by 57% last year to $153 million, compared to 2015, according to a new report by the US Embassy Commercial section. Ukraine ranks fifth in Europe for production of fruits and vegetables. Last year, Ukraine opened new markets in South Asia -- Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka -- and in Africa -- Kenya and Guinea, the report said.

• Agrovesna 2011 berry cooperative is looking for $20 to $30 million in investment to build an agro industrial park for cooling, processing and packaging its products in Kyiv region. Agrovesna 2011’ s 12 cooperative member companies manage 500 hectares of land, growing blueberries, currants, raspberries, and strawberries. The coop sells its berries locally. But to start exports, it is preparing to win certification under the GlobalGAP farm assurance program.


For comments and story tips please email UBJ Editor in Chief James Brooke at james.brooke@theubj.com

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