The Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine signed an annex to the grain memorandum with traders, agreeing on the export of a maximum of 17.5 million tonnes of wheat and 1 000 tonnes of rye in the 2020/21 marketing year (July/June). In the previous marketing year, the volume exported amounted to 21 million tonnes while production in 2019 was estimated at 28.3 million tonnes. Depending on the progress of the season, these thresholds may be revised later in the year. The measures aim to ensure adequate domestic availabilities and preserve food security, also in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In Ukraine, the world’s fifth-biggest wheat exporter, cereal production in 2020 is forecast at about 72 million tonnes, 9 percent above the average. Maize production accounts for the bulk of this output and is forecast at a well above‑average level of 36 million tonnes, owing to a record area planted that is officially estimated at almost 5.5 million hectares. By contrast, wheat production is forecast at a slightly below‑average level of 26 million tonnes as reduced precipitation in March and April affected yields in southern regions.
UkraIne starts wheat sales to SaudI ArabIa
Ukraine joined Russia in starting wheat sales to Saudi Arabia, giving European Union exporters another rival in one of their top markets. Continental Farmers Group will send Ukraine’s first cargo of high quality wheat to the kingdom since 2008, after winning a tender to supply 60,000 tons, the company said. That follows Saudi Arabia’s decision last year to relax bug-damage rules, which opened the way for Black Sea grain to start competing with EU shipments, which have dominated sales to the nation.
Russia has already sent several cargoes there this year. While the sales are small, they mark another advance for Black Sea shippers who have grabbed a larger share of the global wheat market in recent years amid bumper harvests that yield attractive supplies. The Ukraine sale also shows how Saudi investment is paying off, after the Saudi Agricultural & Livestock Investment Co. bought assets there in 2018 and merged them into Continental Farmers. The shipment is a “clear signal of serious investment intention of Saudi Arabia regarding Ukraine,” Georg von Nolcken, chief executive officer at Continental Farmers, said in a statement. It’s also “the beginning of a strong international cooperation,” the company said.