A low harvest in Europe and Riyadh’s decision to cancel grain imports from Canada might give Ukraine a chance to export wheat to Saudi Arabia again this season, analysts said.
Ukraine is a major supplier of barley to Saudi Arabia but has not sold wheat to Saudi Arabia since 2016. “Ukraine had no wheat supplies Saudi Arabia in the 2017/18 season, but in the current situation this market can be quite promising for Ukrainian grain exporters,” analysts at APK-Inform said in a report. The consultancy said Germany and Poland were the leading wheat exporters to Saudi Arabia but poor weather could hit their exportable surplus this year. It also said that Ukraine’s share of Saudi Arabia’s barley market could also rise from 22 percent last season given smaller barley harvests in Germany, France and Australia.
APK-Inform said a recent decision by Saudi Arabia’s main state wheat buying agency to avoid buying Canadian wheat and barley in its international tenders, due to a political dispute, could also enable Ukraine to sell more to Saudi. Canada is one of the leading exporters of barley to Saudi Arabia.
Ukraine exported 1.9 million tonnes of barley to Saudi Arabia in the July 2017-June 2018 season and APK-Inform said that this season’s export volume would be at least the same level despite a smaller harvest. It said Ukraine could export around 4 million tonnes of barley in 2018/19