February 6, 2012


Ukraine's January corn exports to Iran down 40%


Compared to December's figure of 217,000 tonnes, Ukraine's January corn exports to Iran reached 130,000 tonnes, showing 40% fall, Reuters reported.


According to the report, the fall is due to problems collecting payment from Iranian buyers after the EU tightened sanctions, a leading Ukrainian agricultural consultancy said on Friday (Feb 3).


As news of the fall in corn exports to Iran emerged, Ukraine's farm minister said grain traders were in talks with Iran to save a valuable market. The ex-Soviet republic is a top corn producer and exporter in the Black sea region.


"Talks are underway with Iran on the issues which have emerged. Today, grain traders are holding consultations (with Iranian traders) but it is important for us to avoid losing this market and other markets too," Ukraine's grain traders' union UZA quoted the minister, Mykola Prysyazhnyuk, on Friday as saying.


Iran in 2011/12 is expected to import around 4.5 million tonnes of grain, including about 3.5 million tonnes of corn, the leading world grain for animal feed, according to International Grains Council figures. It ranks among the top 10 global importers of corn.


Its key corn suppliers include Brazil, Argentina and Ukraine.


Iran's total grains production for 2011/12 is forecast at 18.7 million tonnes, down from 20.7 million a year earlier. Wheat production is seen at 13.8 million tonnes versus 15.5 million, potentially drawing in more imports from Russia and Kazakhstan, traditional suppliers of high quality wheat.


Ukraine harvested a record 22.7 million tonnes of corn, in 2011 and the exportable surplus could reach 10 million tonnes in the 2011/12 season.


The former Soviet republic exported 6.2 million tonnes of corn in the first seven months of the current season.


Ukraine exported 634,194 tonnes of corn to Iran in the 2010/11 season and 73,600 tonnes in 2009/10. Ukraine plans to remain a top corn producer and exporter in the Black Sea region in 2012 with a harvest of about 25 million tonnes, analysts said.

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