5 Jul 2023 17:57

Ukrainian Grain Association improves grain, oilseed harvest and exports forecasts by 1 mln tonnes

MOSCOW. July 5 (Interfax) - The Ukrainian Grain Association has improved its forecast for the country's 2023 grain and oilseed harvest by 1 million tonnes to 69 million tonnes from the 68 million tonnes it expected in early June, Ukrainian media reported, quoting a UGA press release.

The harvest might fall 6.5% from last year's 73.8 million tonnes. The UGA said the crop might fall due to the situation in the country, and lack of funds and other resources among farmers for a fully-fledged sowing campaign and crop cultivation.

It said about 19.7 million hectares were sown against 25 million hectares on average in previous years.

"Much depends on further weather conditions, which are still favorable for grains and oilseeds," the UGA said.

Exports by Ukraine in the new season from July 2023 to June 2024 might reach 44.8 million tonnes, up from the UGA's June forecast of 43.9 million tonne but down from last season's 58 million tonnes.

Ukraine's revenue from exports of grain, oilseeds and oil for the past agricultural year amounted to about $20 billion.

The UGA estimates stocks of grains and oilseeds at the beginning of the new season at almost 10 million tonnes, which is 2.5 times the average for previous seasons until the 2022/2023 agricultural year, when they peaked at about 25 million tonnes.

"Exports of grains and oilseeds in the 2023/2024 agricultural year can be expected at this level if the work of the Ukrainian Black Sea ports continues and alternative routes are actively developed, in particular, the Danube route. The development of the Danube route with offshore transshipments in Romanian territorial waters for barges with Ukrainian grain from the Danube ports, the optimization of shipping through the mouth of the Bystroye Canal and the Sulina Canal will increase transshipment of grain in the Danube ports from 2 million tonnes to 4 million tonnes, which will result in 20 million tonnes per year," the UGA said.

The UGA maintained its 2023 wheat crop forecast, which might amount to 17.9 million tonnes, down from 20.2 million tonnes in 2022 and a record 33 million tonnes in 2021. It said this was enough to meet domestic demand and food security, but would reduce the export potential. 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 4.3 million tonnes.

The barley harvest is still 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 now be expected 24.2 million tonnes, up from a previous forecast of 23.3 million tonnes, compared with 37.6 million tonnes in 2021 and 27.3 million tonnes in 2022, while exports might be about 20 million tonnes, taking into account stocks of 1.3 million tonnes at the beginning of the new season.

The sunflower crop in 2023 is expected to reach 12.7 million tonnes, down from 16.9 million tonnes in 2021 and 11.1 million tonnes in 2022; exports might reach 1.1 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.