Thursday, 8 February 2018

This week's Black Sea agribusiness news in brief

Ukraine’s Ministry of Agriculture reported that as of February 7 grain exports stood at 24.7MMT including 12.5MMT of wheat, 4.0MMT of barley, 8.1MMT of corn.

Last year exports reached 43.9MMT of grain, the ministry currently forecast slightly less for this year at 41.0MMT.

Ukraine‘s Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, announced this week that the government will allocate UAH 1 billion to promote the production of domestic agriculture machinery in 2018.

The PM also said that 25% of the cost of agriculture machinery would be compensated to those who buy Ukrainian manufactured equipment.

Sounds great but these schemes rarely result in cash being returned to farmers, usually so many hoops to jump through it becomes unworkable, but the intention to support domestic machinery manufacturing is there.

Also, this week (take a deep breath), Russia’s Director of the Department of Economics, Investments and Regulation of the Agroindustrial Complex Markets of the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia said, 134MMT of grain grown by the country this year is not the limit and he estimate the potential to be 150 million and above.

He went on to say that given increasing yields and favourable market conditions the export potential will increase to 60MMT by the year 2025.

According to Russian Ministry of Agriculture 2018 planting forecasts, canola will increase by 20% (to 1.2 million hectares) and soybean by 6.5% (to 2.7 million ha).

Last week’s snow fall thawed across Russia's southern regions of Krasnodar & Stavropol which shouldn’t be a problem as it's generally milder there that far south. 

Further north and snow thawed in Kursk and Belgorod regions (see picture) which could pose a problem as we are starting to see some superficial cold damage to forward, exposed crops which is unlikely to result in wholesale crop death but could put a dent in final yield prospects.