1 Jun 2023 19:02

Ukraine's grain, oilseeds harvest could fall 8% to 68 mln tonnes in 2023 - association

MOSCOW. June 1 (Interfax) - Ukraine's gross harvest of grains and oilseeds in 2023 is expected to reach 68 million tonnes, down 8% from 73.8 million tonnes in 2022 and 36% from 106 million tonnes in 2021, Ukrainian media reported, quoting a Ukrainian Grain Association (UGA) press release.

The UGA forecasts that about 19.5 million hectares will be sown in total, down 28.2% from last year. "Of course, a lot depends on how the sowing campaign is completed and on further weather conditions," the UGA said.

It said Ukraine's exports in the new 2023/2024 season may reach 43.9 million tonnes. In the current season ending on June 30, 2023, exports may reach 56.4 million tonnes, provided that the sea route for exports is maintained. At the same time, the stocks at the beginning of the new season may amount to about 11.9 million tonnes of grains and oilseeds, which is three times more than in previous seasons, except for 2022/2023 MY, when the stocks were tonnes their highest - about 25 million tonnes.

"This year's harvest will be characterized by a decrease in grain crop due to the decrease in the seeded grain area compared to last year, while the crop forecast for oilseeds is up due to a corresponding increase in the oilseeds seeded area," the UGA said.

The wheat crop in Ukraine in 2023 might amount to only 17.9 million tonnes, down from 20.2 million tonnes in 2022 and 33 million tonnes in 2021, with the wheat-seeded area decreasing by more than 2 million hectares.

"However, this is more than enough to meet domestic demand and food security, especially when about 7 million Ukrainians have left the country, but will reduce the export potential," the UGA said.

Given the lower harvest, wheat exports in 2023/2024 MY may amount to about 15 million tonnes, considering that at the beginning of the season, stocks will amount to 5.3 million tonnes.

The barley harvest is estimated at 4.4 million tonnes in 2023, down from 10.1 million tonnes in 2021 and 5.8 million tonnes in 2022; exports in 2023/2024 MY can be expected at 2 million tonnes.

The corn crop in the new season can be expected at 23.3 million tonnes due to the decrease of the corn seeded area by about 800,000 ha from 37.6 million tonnes in 2021 and 27.3 million tonnes in 2022, while exports might be about 19 million tonnes, taking into account stocks of 2.3 million tonnes at the beginning of the new season.

The sunflower crop in 2023 is expected to reach 12.7 million tonnes due to the increase of the planted area by the same 800,000 ha this year compared to the previous year, down from 16.9 million tonnes in 2021 and 11.1 million tonnes in 2022; exports might reach 1.2 million tonnes. Sunflower processing for oil might reach 11.5 million tonnes.

The rapeseed crop forecast in 2023 is estimated at 3.8 million tonnes, while exports in 2023/2024 marketing year are expected at 3.5 million tonnes. The soybean harvest is expected to reach almost 4.4 million tonnes, and exports in 2023/2024 MY can be expected at 3 million tonnes.

In general, these exports of grains and oilseeds in 2023/2024 MY can be expected if the Ukrainian Black Sea ports continue to operate.

A decrease in Ukraine's grain harvest and exports will have a negative impact on the availability of grain on the world market and will lead to higher prices and, consequently, higher food inflation in the world, the UGA said.

The Agrarian Policy and Food Ministry said at the end of March that the area under grains and pulses might fall 12% this year to 10.24 million ha and the area under oilseed crops might rise nearly 12% to 8.85 million ha.