Monday, 10 July 2017

Monday's Black Sea agri-business news

Engie SA, the French renewable energy developer, is holding discussions with the Ukrainian government about the possibility of building a large solar farm project in the uninhabited radioactive zone that rings the Chernobyl reactor, which blew up in 1986.

Engie is one of 60 companies to have expressed an interest in developing some form of renewable generating capacity at the site.

The Chernobyl exclusion zone is about 2,600-square kilometre of radiated land and has been largely absent of human activity for 30 years.

New York Times are reporting comments made on Friday by Francis Malige, MD at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, that if Ukraine overhauled its land legislation it could unlock $50 billion of collateral for lending to the country's agricultural industry.

Malige said there were around 45 million hectares of agricultural land in Ukraine and even by assigning a minimum value to it, that would provide "$40-50 billion of collateral you can put into the system".

Actually, there’s about 32mha of arable land of which about 20mha is cropped by agribusiness, so that would raise about $22 billion.

Talking of Ukraine agribusinesses, Kernel agricultural holding increased its landbank to 600,000 ha of leasehold farmland after the acquisition of Ukrainian Agrarian Investment (UAI) and Agro Invest Ukraine.

Last week, Russia announced they had extended the ban on imports until 31 December 2018.
The ban is on the import of certain categories of agricultural products, raw materials and food from the US, EU member countries, Canada, Australia, Norway, Ukraine, Albania, Montenegro, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

The Russian minister of agriculture, Alexander Tkachev said he assumed the boycott will remain in force until at least 2020.