Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Tuesday AM Black Sea agribusiness news

Belarus wants to send its inspectors to Russian agricultural companies, the country’s Minister of Agriculture told Belarus TV.

The statement came as a response to a series of inspections, organized by Russia’s agriculture watchdog after Moscow imposed restrictions on imports of Belorussian products.

It's unlikely Russia will accommodate such a request in what appears to be a tit-for-tat response as relations between the two countries remain poor.

The Russian vertically integrated meat and feed producer, Cherkizovo Group, has completed the acquisition of one of Russia’s leading grain producers, NAPKO.

Cherkizovo Group, listed on the London and Moscow stock exchanges, is one of Russia’s top three companies producing chicken, pork and processed meat and is the country’s largest feed manufacturer.

The transaction worth $85.6 million, increases Cherkizovo Group’s total operating land bank to 287,000 hectares.

Russia may lose its status as the top wheat export due to the trade crisis with Turkey.  

Turkey was the second largest buyer of Russian wheat, so if Russia fails to reach an agreement with Turkey, the volume intended for that country will be redirected to other markets, which will take time, according to Russia’s Deputy Agriculture Minister.

Russia’s early wheat harvest begins in June which will only add to the already high carryover stocks.

A four-year project funded by USAID is seeking to boost credit lending to agriculture in Ukraine and improve the quality of the financial services and products offered to farmers.

Launched in April, the project is designed to strengthen the credit union sector in Ukraine in order to improve the quality of the financial services offered to farmers and other agribusinesses in rural areas.

Good idea but my experience of credit facilities in Ukraine is collateral and interest rates are both prohibitively high particularly for the smaller scale farmers.

A Ukrainian-German company has invested $1.1 million installing solar panels inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone which should start producing electricity by the end of June with a capacity of 1.5 megawatts.

The Ukrainian government wants to install enough panels inside the exclusion zone to produce 2.5 gigawatts - equivalent to about half the capacity of the plant before the fourth reactor exploded in 1986.

The solar project is partly viable because of the infrastructure left over from the Soviet era, including networks of power lines.

Low land rents are also plugged as an incentive.