Ukrainian agricultural sector needs 860 mcm of gas for fall-winter season - UCAB
MOSCOW. Sept 8 (Interfax) - The Ukrainian agricultural sector's natural gas needs for the period from September 2022 to April 2023 have been estimated at 860 million cubic meters (mcm), and, at the same time, it is also important for the sector to have access to this energy resource at a projected price, Ukrainian media said on Thursday, citing conclusions presented by the Ukrainian Agribusiness Club (UCAB).
The UCAB's request regarding the need to heed the agricultural sector's gas needs and the importance of a projected price of gas has already been forwarded to the Ukrainian government.
Drying crops while loading them into silos is the most gas-consuming process during the fall-winter season - 337 mcm, 24 mcm of gas are needed to dry oil-bearing crops, 10 mcm for soya beans, the association said. Other major consumers of natural gas are enterprises that produce sugar from sugar beets (181 mcm), glasshouse facilities (180 mcm), flour milling, bread baking and oil extraction enterprises of the Ukrainian agricultural sector (64 mcm in total), poultry farms (44 mcm), and dairy plants (20 mcm).
Natural gas prices have already begun growing rapidly in Ukraine, where Naftogaz charged enterprises 31.48 hryvni per cubic meter of gas including VAT in August 2022, but in September the price is already 49.99 hryvni per cubic meter of gas including VAT, the UCAB said. However, the prices may keep growing, thus putting an unmanageable financial burden on both food producers and consumers.
Agricultural enterprises are replacing certain amounts of natural gas with alternative kinds of fuel where it is technologically possible and where the financial resource for such investments is available, the association said. However, natural gas remains the main kind of fuel for the majority of Ukrainian agricultural producers - from 70% to 85%.
"That is why, enterprises of the agricultural sector hope for more predictable price setting policies and the affordable price of natural gas during the fall-winter period," the UCAB said, when clarifying why it has appealed to the authorities.