February 7, 2013
According to the Agrarian Ministry of Ukraine, the country became top corn supplier among European countries, following the US, Argentina, and Brazil.
In 2012, Ukraine produced about 20 million tonnes of corn; more than half of it the country is ready to sell to foreign buyers, stated Ukrainian agrarian minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk. Major consumers of Ukrainian corn in January-November 2012 were Belgium, Egypt, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.
In 2012, Ukraine began cooperation with China - world's largest corn consumer - regarding the supply of corn. The eastern Asian nation plans to buy approximately three million tonnes of Ukrainian corn per year. To help boost Ukraine's corn production, in July 2012, China provided a US$3 billion loan for Ukraine's agricultural sector. The loan is intended to finance the increase of the trade volume, raise productivity, and stimulate equipment modernisation in the Ukrainian agricultural sector. With the money Ukraine will be able to purchase crop-protection agents, seeds, and equipment from China, as well as invest in land cultivation and set up a plant for organic fertiliser processing and crop-protection agent production.
Currently, Ukraine has a 12.9% share of the global corn market. In 2011, Ukraine took the third spot in the global corn supplier rating, being the second runner-up to the market giants- the US and Argentina.
Besides its strong position on the global market of corn, Ukraine has an 18.5% share on the world barley market and a 4.5% share on the wheat market. Total grain export in 2012 reached over 16.25 million tonnes, including 6.04 million tonnes of wheat and 1.98 million tonnes of barley, according to Minister Prysyazhnyuk.
Remarkably, in 2012, the eastern European country increased its agricultural export by 40%. Ukraine's sunflower oil export volume was the world's largest in 2011 and 2012. Additionally, in 2011, Ukraine became the world's second biggest pome fruit exporter, and third largest currants and natural honey supplier, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN.