November 13, 2012


Ukraine may begin exporting corn to China end 2012


By the end of this year, Ukraine may send its first shipments of corn to China, under an agreement which will allow the former Soviet republic to repay a US$3 billion loan to the Asian giant.


Ukrainian Agricultural Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk said on Monday (Nov 12) that the way was clear for shipments to start after the two sides reached an agreement on sanitary and other quality requirements for supplies of the commodity.


"Shipments of Ukrainian corn will be made in accordance with inter-government agreements and by private companies as well," Prysyazhnyuk was quoted as saying by his ministry.


The outline agreement should enable Ukraine to pay off US$3 billion worth of credit extended by China this summer, he said. A list of Ukrainian exporting companies would be sent to China in the near future.


Analysts say Ukraine, a major wheat producer which is also the world's fourth-biggest corn exporter, may in future be able to compete with the US for China's corn market.


The former Soviet republic said in July that it would supply 2.0 million-2.5 million tonnes of corn to China every year to pay off the US$3 billion loan.


China's overall corn imports could total six million tonnes this year and might reach eight million tonnes in 2013, according to Ukrainian agricultural ministry figures. Ukraine is pressing Beijing for further corn orders in 2013.


Ukraine boosted its corn output to a record 22.7 million tonnes last year from about five million tonnes five years ago. The ministry says a corn harvest of about 20 million tonnes could be on the cards for this year.

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