Two thirds of Ukraine’s farmland is at risk of drought due to climate change,

Ukraine’s Agriculture Minister Roman Leshchenko told the Ukraine 30 Ecology forum yesterday. “Climate change is taking place and in fact two thirds of our territory is becoming a zone of risky agriculture,” he said. “Especially critical points are July-August.” Farmers should shift to low till, low chemical techniques that use harvesters that shred crop residues, returning them to the soil. Six million hectares, largely in southern Ukraine, urgently need conservation, he said.

This spring’s cool, wet weather will boost grain harvests by 14.5% and exports by 28%,

the Ukrainian Grain Association predicted yesterday. In reality, this would return Ukraine to the bumper year of 2019/2020. Looking ahead, corn exports are to jump 27% in the coming marketing year, to 30 million tons. Wheat exports are to increase by 37%, to 21 million tons. The sunflower harvest is to increase by 28%, to 16.5 million tons, slightly more than the 2019/2020 level.

The US will displace Ukraine as China’s top source of corn this year

as predicted on the China’s Global Times news website. In the first two months of this year, China’s corn imports increased by 414% yoy, to 4.8 million tons. The US pulled ahead of Ukraine, largely due to the Trump-era US-China trade accord. With the marketing year ending June 30, the US Department of Agriculture has predicted that China will import a record 24 million tons of corn.

Ukraine’s grain exports could rebound by 19% in the upcoming marketing year, reaching 54 million tons,

predicted APK-Inform, the agriculture consultancy. Ukraine could export: 29.50 million tons of corn; 20 million tons of wheat; and 4.3 million tons of barley. In the last decade, Ukraine more than quadrupled its wheat exports, reaching a volume of 17.5 million tons last year. Today, Ukraine accounts for almost one tenth of global wheat exports.

April’s soaking rains and a good start to the spring sowing campaign lead Economy Ministry analysts to predict a bumper grain crop of 75 million tons in 2021.

This would be 15% over last year’s output. State weather forecasters said last month around 98% of Ukrainian winter wheat crops and 100% of winter barley were in good condition.

Soybeans, a footnote to Ukraine’s grain story, are expected to see a 36% jump in production in the upcoming marketing year, 3.8 million tons.

The USDA attributes this to a change in tax laws that make soybean production more profitable. Exports in the upcoming marketing year are expected to reach 2 million tons, up 20% over last year. This would make Ukraine the world’s six largest soy exporter, after Canada.

Ukraine, the world’s largest sunflower oil exporter, is expected to increase sun oil exports by 17% in the upcoming marketing year, to 6.5 million tons.

With cooking oil price hikes pushing up Ukraine’s March inflation, the Economy Ministry and the Ukroliyaprom Trade Association agreed Monday to limit sunflower oil exports to 5.38 million tons in the marketing year that ends August 31. Due to high cooking oil prices worldwide, Ukraine’s sunflower oil sales in calendar year 2020 were $5.3 billion, a 24% increase over 2019 sales.

The EBRD is also lending $57 million to the Kernel Group to improve the storage, transportation and export of agricultural commodities

, the bank reported in a press release. The loan is part of a $200 million syndication arranged by French investment bank Natixis for Kernel, the world’s leading producer and exporter of sunflower oil. The EBRD announced: “The new financing will help the group enter the new harvest season with sufficient working capital to buy crops and prepare them for export, making full use of its newly expanded infrastructure.”

Agroholding Astarta, Ukraine’s largest sugar producer, increased its EBITDA by 45.6% to €113.4 million.

The company increased its sugar EBITDA 9-fold, to €80.2 million, by selling one unprofitable sugar mill and by cutting sugar exports by 29%. Sugar prices were higher in Ukraine, where the company has a 20% share of the market. Astarta has five sugar factories, a land bank of 220,000 hectares, dairy farms with 22,000 head of cattle, seven elevators, a biogas complex, and a soybean processing plant.

Concorde Capital’s Alexander Paraschiy wrote:

“The company’s EBITDA and net leverage are the best in the last three years, making it one of the least risky farming and food companies in the Ukrainian universe.”

Driving up egg prices, Oleg Bakhmatyuk, owner of Avangard, the nation’s largest egg producer,

has halved egg production over the last 18 months, to 170 million eggs a month. He has blamed the criminal prosecution by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, saying it has cut him off from bank loans needed to run his Ukrlandfarming agribusiness.

Corn exports are down 25% yoy in the first half of the October-September 2020 marketing season,

 reported APK-Inform. Of the 15.9 million tons exported so far, the top markets were: China – 6 million tons; EU – 5 million tons; and Egypt – 1.7 million tons. This year, Ukraine is expected to export 23 million tons of its 30-million-ton crop. Poor weather and reduced plantings depressed the harvest.

“In the food & agriculture segment, higher prices have been offset by lower volumes, resulting in a 3.3% yoy total decrease in exports,”

 writes Oleksiy Blinov, Alfa’s research head. “Sunflower volume exports are up only 1.5% yoy in March, but the export price has more than doubled.” Similarly, higher grain export prices have compensated for a 23% yoy drop in grain export volumes.

DTEK Renewables plans to launch solar and wind projects in the EU as early as this year,

Grain

DTEK Renewables plans to launch solar and wind projects in the EU as early as this year, DTEK Renewables CEO Maris Kunickis tells Bloomberg in an article headlined: “DTEK Looks Abroad After Ukraine Backtracks on Green Support.” Behind DTEK’s drive to diversify, Bloomberg writes: “In 2020, government only paid for 50% of produced energy to renewable producers. The retroactive cut jeopardizes Ukraine’s goal of having a 25% share of renewables in electricity production in 2035.”

Ukrainians bought two thirds of their long-distance train tickets online last year

Grain

Ukrainians bought two thirds of their long-distance train tickets online last year, reports Ukrzaliznytsia. By buying 12.9 million tickets through the Internet, at booking.uz.gov.ua, travelers had easy access to fares, seat selection and discounts. Two weeks ago, UZ launched ticket sales through Viber and Telegram, facilitated by chatbots. On the first day, 17,000 people took advantage of the new service.

The longest train ride in Ukraine is also one of its five most popular

Grain

The longest train ride in Ukraine is also one of its five most popular, reports Ukrzaliznytsia. Every day, Train No. 45 sets off from Uzhgorod or Lysychansk, Luhansk, ambling across Ukraine making at least 40 stops and averaging 53 km/hour (33 mph). The train takes 31 hours and 15 minutes to travel 1,653 km, slight longer that the distance from Marseilles to Berlin. Last year, 461,500 people rode the train, most for small segments.

Restaurants, gyms and shopping centers reopen in Ukraine today

Grain

Restaurants, gyms and shopping centers reopen in Ukraine today as the nation emerges from the coronavirus lockdown-imposed Jan. 8. Registered new infections are running at about 5,000 a day, about one third the peak of two months ago. “Epidemiologists record the stabilization of the situation,” Prime Minister Shmygal wrote Saturday on Facebook. “The number of occupied beds has decreased to less than 30%.” Kyiv city has a 32% occupancy rate of coronavirus beds and the nation’s fourth highest infection rate

Ukraine imported a record amount of wine last year — $180 million.

Grain

Ukraine imported a record amount of wine last year — $180 million. Top supplying countries are: Italy – $ 29 million; France – $ 27.5 million; and Georgia – $26 million. Over the last decade, Ukraine’s wine production dropped in half, partly due to the loss of Crimea, partly to due to red tape blocking small producers, and partly due to imports. EU exports to Ukraine are expected to increase this year after duties dropped to zero on Jan. 1.

China’s imports of Ukrainian grain are soaring during this marketing year

Grain

China’s imports of Ukrainian grain are soaring during this marketing year, the Ukrainian Grain Association reports, citing figures released Thursday at an Agro meeting at Ukraine’s Embassy in Beijing. In the first seven months of the grain marketing year, China has imported 6.9 million tons from Ukraine – more than the 6.3 million tons imported during the 2019/2020 marketing year. During the 2020 calendar year, China was the largest importer of Ukrainian grain, buying 20% of Ukraine’s total exports of

After the United States, Ukraine was the world’s second largest grain exporter in the marketing year that ended June 30

Grain

After the United States, Ukraine was the world’s second largest grain exporter in the marketing year that ended June 30, Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Economy, told the International Grains Council last week. Citing USDA figures, Kachka said Ukraine ranked 2nd in barley exports, 4th in corn exports and 5th in wheat exports. After a poor harvest this fall, Ukraine may fall behind. During the first seven months of the current marketing year, exports are down by 6.3

DHL and Ukrzaliznytsia plans to develop China-bound trade from UZ’s left bank rail wagon marshalling yard at Liski

Grain

DHL and Ukrzaliznytsia plans to develop China-bound trade from UZ’s left bank rail wagon marshalling yard at Liski, Logistics Manager, an Asia-oriented logistics news site, reports in a story headlined: “Full Steam Ahead for Ukraine & China to Drive Rail Connectivity.” Freight from Ukraine’s neighbors can be consolidated in Kyiv for shipping east in container trains. “There is a lot of excitement for those watching trade developments between China and Ukraine,” says Steve Huang, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding Greater

Ukraine saved $3.4 billion last year on oil imports, cutting its import bill by 36% yoy

Grain

Ukraine saved $3.4 billion last year on oil imports, cutting its import bill by 36% yoy, reports the State Customs Service. In volume terms, Ukraine cut imports by 5%, to 8 million tons. Top suppliers were: Russia – $1.2 billion; Belarus – $1.2 billion; Lithuania — $400 million.

Industrial production dropped last year by 5% yoy, reports the State Statistics Service. Manufacturing was down 7%

Grain

Industrial production dropped last year by 5% yoy, reports the State Statistics Service. Manufacturing was down 7%. Other big drops were: coal mining down 13%; and electricity generation down 6.6%. On the upside, steel was up 6.5% and cement was up 7%. In 2019, industrial production was down 1.8%, cancelling out a 1.1% growth in 2018.

Net foreign direct investment in Ukraine was the worst in 20 years

Grain

Net foreign direct investment in Ukraine was the worst in 20 years, Lenna Koszarny Founding Partner and CEO of Horizon Capital, said Friday at a discussion of the draft National Economic Strategy 2030. Looking at negative flows for first nine months, she said: “We hope that net FDI will go to zero.” To get Ukraine on a growth track, she said the government’s goal should be: judicial reform, capital market reforms and investment reforms.

Last year’s remittances from Ukrainian workers abroad totaled $12 billion — almost five times the net direct foreign investment of $2.5 million.

Grain

Last year’s remittances from Ukrainian workers abroad totaled $12 billion — almost five times the net direct foreign investment of $2.5 million. In 2018, net FDI added up to $2.4 billion. Kyrylo Kryvolap, Executive Director of the Center for Economic Recovery, said that since independence, Ukraine’s economy has attracted $50 billion in FDI, while Poland attracted over the same period $240 billion.

Despite coronavirus travel controls, worker remittances are expected to be near last year’s level.

Grain

Despite coronavirus travel controls, worker remittances are expected to be near last year’s level. Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service reports that 35% of the 11,250,000 border crossings out of Ukraine last year were to Poland. While Ukrainians were largely barred from visiting the EU for tourism in 2020, travel was permitted for work. Outbound crossings were: Poland – 4 million; Hungary – 1.6 million; Russia – 1 million; Turkey – 965,000; Egypt – 730,000; Romania – 626,000; Belarus – 496,000;

The sale of large state companies starts this year and will not be reversed,

Grain

The sale of large state companies starts this year and will not be reversed, Prime Minister Shmygal vowed Friday at the meeting to debate the National Economic Strategy through 2030. He added: “Investors have liquidity today. Objects for privatization in Ukraine are extremely interesting.” He said planned companies for sale this year include: three regional power generators, five combined heat and power plants, the Bolshevik plant, the Odessa Port Plant, the United Mining and Chemical Company, and the President Hotel.

To promote investment into Ukraine, UkraineInvest is creating up to 70 information offices in Ukrainian embassies around the world

Grain

To promote investment into Ukraine, UkraineInvest is creating up to 70 information offices in Ukrainian embassies around the world, Serhiy Tsivkach, executive director of the Investment Promotion Agency, said at the National Economic Strategy meeting. The agency is working with the Foreign Ministry and the Ukrainian World Congress. Ukraine has 78 embassies and 45 consulates.

Turkish companies are interested in investing in Chornomorsk container terminal and  railway and ferry complex

Grain

Turkish companies are interested in investing in Chornomorsk container terminal and  railway and ferry complex, Infrastructure Minister Vladyslav Krykliy reports after meeting Thursday with executives of three Turkish companies: Busserk, Çalık Holding, and NIKO Group. One of Ukraine’s busiest black sea ports, Chornomorsk has a car ferry to Derince, near Istanbul.