Kyiv deals with logistical challenges as it looks to alternative export routes

So heard attendees at a key assembly yesterday in Prague organized by EU sustainable soy selling group, Donau Soja, in collaboration with Ukraine’s agriculture and economic system ministries and the Karlova Burza congress group.

Jiří Šír, deputy minister of agriculture, Czech Republic, opened the occasion, which was geared toward discovering methods to expedite agricultural exports from the battle hit nation.

Ukraine has constantly been within the high 5 grain and oilseed exporting international locations in recent times, with 90% of its agricultural exports shipped out by the ports of Odesa and Mykolaiv. These two ports have been closed for effectively over a month now because of the Russian invasion.

In February, 150,000 tons of grain and oilseed merchandise together with by-products have been exported by rail, with these volumes rising to 300,000 tons in March, in response to the Ukrainian ag ministry.

Whereas Kyiv continues to search for various routes by land, that effort has been hampered by logistical challenges and crimson tape.

Taras Vysotskyi, first deputy minister in Ukraine agriculture ministry, advised delegates the target of the assembly was to attempt, by a collaborative effort involving governments, non-public corporations, and different stakeholders, to search out options to such export constraints.

“From our facet, we’ve up to date our inside insurance policies to permit the export of agricultural commodities. I need to affirm that, to this point, there are not any limits on and no plans to impose any limits on the export of barley, corn, rapeseed, soybeans, sunflower seeds, sunflower oil, and different merchandise. We’re permitting the export of wheat by a license. The license is freed from cost, it’s simply to arrange the method.

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“Ukrainian farmers are actually devoted, they’re persevering with with the sowing marketing campaign regardless of all of the challenges. Round 2 million hectares of planted space have been sown to this point.”

The ministry expects that about 70% of the overall planted areas will likely be sown with crops in Ukraine this 12 months.

Logistic hurdles

Polish and Romanian authorities spokespersons on the occasion summarized the work these international locations have carried out up to now to facilitate higher cross-border transport of crops from Ukraine, whereas Vitaly Kushnir, industrial director of one of many main Ukrainian agriculture corporations, ATK Group, spoke concerning the current challenges associated to export logistics.

Ukraine can export extra grains and oilseeds, he stated, nevertheless it wants EU international locations to step up and speed up the supply of extra wagons and river barges to facilitate cross-border transit. “Our nation is environment friendly in relation to inside logistics, however we want extra assist from our EU companions. We’re keen to work 24/7, however we’re struggling on account of lack of kit, we want extra wagons, barges, grain and oil vehicles,”​ stated Kushnir.

A Reuters story final week famous that the Ukrainian railway community makes use of a Russian gauge measuring roughly 1.5 meters, or some 10 centimeters greater than the tracks utilized in most of Europe, so railway workers need to raise wagons with a jack and manually change the chassis to suit the Polish tracks. Alternatively, they’ll unload the grains from the Ukrainian wagons and pour them into the Polish ones – a course of that may take as much as half-hour per wagon.

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Ukraine at the moment has two export port terminals which might be nonetheless functioning, Izmail and Reni, each positioned on the Danube River, however their capability could be very restricted, in contrast with that of Odessa.

The main focus now’s making an attempt to allow a big improve in rail shipments, stated UkrAgroConsult director normal, Sergey Feofilov, throughout a webinar final week. However different ports being thought-about in relation to export bulk shipments of Ukrainian grain are Gdansk in Poland and Constanta in Romania, he stated.

Possible export figures

UkrAgroConsult, as a part of that webinar, supplied estimates for crop manufacturing in Ukraine, cautioning that the figures may change, given the continuing volatility in ag markets.

Ukrainian wheat manufacturing for MY 2022/23 is more likely to attain 19.8m Mt, with exports projected at between 14m and 16m Mt, primarily because of the unprecedentedly giant ending shares of the 2021/22 season, stated the company.

Forecasting Ukrainian corn manufacturing proper now is more difficult, it stated, given {that a} important share of the corn space falls in areas with lively hostilities and since corn requires important inputs in comparison with different crops. Furthermore, Ukraine farmers could obtain decrease costs for his or her corn relative to different grains, and this diminished income would possibly affect their choice and encourage them to change to cereals, stated Feofilov.

The consultancy forecasts that the nation’s corn output for MY 2022/23 may attain between 19m and 24m Mt, with export potential being someplace between 19m and 26m Mt on account of excessive carryover shares.

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The sunflower space may lower significantly, and yields will likely be low due to deficit of some inputs. “Our forecast is for 10-12m Mt for the harvest of 2022,” ​stated Feofilov.

He doesn’t count on Ukraine’s soybean space to shrink considerably, as nearly all soy fields are positioned in areas of low threat in relation to the battle. The forecast is for two.9m Mt for the harvest of 2022 in comparison with 3.5m Mt final 12 months.

UkrAgroConsult predicts the identical tonnage for the rapeseed harvest. Document giant winter rapeseed areas for the 2022 crop have been sown within the autumn 2021, it added.

About 98% of rapeseed areas in Ukraine are winter varieties. Rapeseed plantings are in good situation, after wintering with minimal losses, stated the consultancy. The harvested space would possibly lower although as round 300k hectares are positioned in excessive threat areas when it comes to the battle.

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