25 May 2023 16:46

Ukraine's Astarta agroholding increases sown area for 2023 harvest by 40.3%

MOSCOW. May 25 (Interfax) - Astarta agroholding, Ukraine's largest sugar producer, has completed the spring sowing campaign, totaling 201,000 hectares sown for the 2023 crop, a surge of 40.3% year-on-year, Ukrainian media reported, citing the company.

The company this year has allocated 56,000 hectares for soybeans, 39,000 hectares for sugar beet, 28,000 hectares for sunflower, 19,000 hectares for corn, 14,000 hectares for rapeseed, and 2,000 hectares for under organic farming. Additionally, winter wheat was sown on 43,000 hectares.

"Last year's rainy autumn, with the extremely late completion of the grain harvest, meant that we had to conduct planned fieldwork simultaneously with unplanned fieldwork in order to complete the main soil preparation. Moreover, the late, cold and rainy spring has shifted the start of the sowing season by 10 days. On the other hand, we have a big advantage over last year, namely that we have not had the moisture reserves that we have today in the meter layer of soil for a very long time. Therefore, there are favorable conditions for early grain crops," Vadim Skripnik, director of agricultural production, said in the statement.

Skripnik said that the holding's farmers were working on schedule to prepare for harvesting early grains, which should begin in early July according to the preliminary forecasts.

As reported, sugar beet was sown on 33,000 hectares the previous year, soybeans on 40,000 hectares, corn on 38,000 hectares, and sunflower on 30,000 hectares.

As reported, Astarta posted net profit of 65.16 million euros in 2022, a drop of 46.8% year-on-year. EBITDA decreased 23.2% to 154.77 million euros last year, while revenue increased 3.8% to 510.07 million euros.

The family of founder and CEO Victor Ivanchik, who controlled 29.21% through Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. at the end of the first quarter, is the main shareholder of Astarta. Kopernik Global Investors owns 2.64%, Heptagon Capital owns 1.88%, and Metlife PTE SA owns 0.62%.

Astarta is a vertically integrated agro-industrial holding that includes sugar factories, agricultural enterprises, dairy farms, an oil extraction plant, grain elevators, and a biogas complex.