February 3, 2010


Ukraine grain exports shows sharp decline in January


Ukrainian exports of three leading commodities (wheat, corn and barley) fell to 1.66 million tonnes in January from 2.51 million in December.


According to a statement from UkrAgroConsult consultancy, wheat sales had fallen to 611,000 tonnes from 1.057 million in December, and exports of corn fell to 696,600 tonnes from 1.072 million.


UkrAgroConsult gave no explanation for the decline while the Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation (UAC), which includes major producers and traders, said poor weather and large value-added tax (VAT) levied on exporters were the main reasons.


UAC said in a statement that Ukraine was likely to reduce the pace of sales in coming months.


Traders are buying grain only in ports and only in foreign currency, and this reduces export volumes, said UAC director Sergey Stoianov. According to UkrAgroConsult, in 2009-10 Ukraine's total grain exports are likely to fall to about 20 million tonnes from about 25 million in 2008-09.


In the first seven months of the 2009/10 season, exports reached about 16 million tonnes.