February 24, 2012


Ukraine to export huge amount of corn due to output surge


For the second successive year in the marketing year that starts October 1, Ukraine will likely export a record amount of corn due to a surge in output and large inventories, an official with a state-run company said Thursday (Feb 23).


Corn is now the chief export among agricultural commodities and shipments in 2012-13 may rise to 14 million or even 15 million tonnes, Andrew Druzyaka, an advisor in State Food and Grain Corporation of Ukraine, said on the sidelines of a grains conference.


Analysts cite Ukraine's corn exports as the most important check on global prices, which hit a record high in June last year due to dwindling inventories in the US, the top exporter.


Ukraine's corn exports this year are forecast at 12.5 million tonnes, compared with five million tonnes in 2010-11, and stocks by end-September will surge to 4.7 million tonnes, Druzyaka said.


A major part of Ukraine's incremental farm acreage this year went to corn and yields were also above average, pushing output up to 22.8 million tonnes, almost double from 2011-12, he said.


Corn acreage has increased by a third to 3.5 million hectares, he said. "Our corn prices are very competitive compared with US and other origins and this has given a boost to sales," he said.


In the October-December quarter, Ukraine sold 1.2 million tonnes corn to Egypt, around 700,000 tonnes to Spain and 363,000 tonnes to Iran. Subsequently, it sold 800,000 tonnes corn to Japan, its largest buyer in Asia, he said.


Druzyaka said wheat output rose by five million tonnes to 22 million tonnes in the marketing year that started July 1, but exports are unlikely to be more than six million tonnes due to greater demand for corn.


Exports reached 4.2 million tonnes in 2010-11, when output was hit by drought. Consequently, wheat stocks are likely to surge to 7.4 million tonnes by end-June from 2.8 million tonnes, Druzyaka said.

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