Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Brief update from the FSU

Belarus has officially completed planting maize with 231kha in the ground, declared the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of Belarus.

They also went on to say that 33kha (32% of the plan) of spring rapeseed has been planted.

My contacts in Russia are telling me all crops are looking very good there and planting is well on schedule although April has been dry in parts and they could do with some rain now please.

I hesitate to mention buckwheat, a staple food item in these parts, because when I mentioned it last time for some inexplicable reason the hits on my blog went through the roof and I was inundated with emails but here goes. 

During the first 8 months of 13/14 MY Russia exported a record 27kmt of buckwheat compared to 8kmt the previous year and 2.5kmt the year before that.  Ukraine is the main export market with 14kmt delivered so far this MY.  I guess Ukraine will be looking to up its buckwheat planting for this year because I assume that source will no longer be available.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Ag is preparing an Agrarian Code of Ukraine to come in to force by 2015 and will annul competing laws.  Let’s hope they don’t turn to their new pals in Brussels for advice on putting together a common agricultural policy because we all know how well that works.

Further developments from Ukraine’s mad busy Ministry of Ag is to decentralize agricultural control suggesting they will cancel excessive controls and delegate responsibility to the regions.  That could be a double edged sword depending who is in charge of the regions.

At the same time the Government has announced they will reduce the number of taxes in the new version of the Tax Code to 8 in attempt to simplify the tax procedure and reduce the possibility for tax evasion.

On the face of it all these changes to legislation and business practice seem sensible and will make the business environment easier for investors which is what Ukraine desperately needs.