December 6, 2011


Ukraine's 2011/12 corn exports to reach 19 million tonnes


Ukraine's 2011-12 corn exports may attain a record 19 million tonnes, up from 12 million tonnes last season, Olga Pryadko, head of grain markets at Ukrainian agricultural analysis body APK-Inform, said Monday (Dec 5).


The average yield for corn in the current season has increased to 5.5 tonnes a hectare in comparison with 4.5 tonnes a hectare last season, Pryadko said.


"Favourable weather conditions dominating during the period of grain ripening in Ukraine, contributed to the corn situation development," Pryadko said.


Still, large production volumes spark issues about whether the country has enough storage capacity, APK-Inform said.


Market participants told APK-Inform that elevators of eastern, central, western and southern regions, except Crimea, are overstocked by 70-100%, not only due to large volumes of corn, but also of oilseed crops.


But APK-Inform does not see a lack of storage as a major issue for its corn market.


"The present situation increases the number of elevators under construction or compels agrarians to use alternative storage methods," Pryadko said. "For example, some agrarians already had experience of grain storage in plastic bags."


Transportation is another significant issue for Ukraine's anticipated record corn harvest in 2011-12, APK-Inform said.


"To date, there are reports that the fleet of rail cars is understaffed, which has caused some difficulties in grain shipments," Pryadko said. A leading shipping company said that the number of rail cars for grain transportation in Ukraine only totals 8,000-9,000, down by 2,000 on the prior year, Pryadko said.


APK-Inform said that Ukraine has leased some of its rail cars to Kazakhstan, to help that country resolve its own grains transportation issues.


Ukraine's market continues to operate under constant risk of problems regarding storage and transportation of corn as agrarians try to harvest the maximum volumes of grain sowed, in order to provide the highest number of exports, APK-Inform said.

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