The U.S. ag attache in Ukraine says between July 2013 and the beginning of January 2014, the country exported 6.8 MMT of wheat, of which 5.5 MMT is milling wheat, over 2 MMT of barley and around 9.5 MMT of new-crop corn. The attache says talk is building that corn exports could reach 19 MMT to 20 MMT this season, although quality of the grain could be an issue.
The attache says the record 2013 corn crop of 30.9 MMT has set Ukraine "firmly among the top five corn exporters in the world." The attache adds, "Area expansion and improving yields meant that corn drove total grain output upward, too, even as another main crop, barley, has seen declining production. Unfavorable world market prices for agricultural commodities have producers in Ukraine concerned about recovering their production expenses."
Additionally, the attache says a strong export pace for wheat at the start of the season later shifted to corn when the record crop was being harvested. "As the market expectations for prices was to continue their downward trend, the trade rushed to sell corn earlier in the season," says the attache. "Somewhat limited storage capacity was also one of the factors in quicker exports, since Ukraine's infrastructure is not fully ready for expanded corn output."
"Recent trade has been slow due to the winter holiday season in Ukraine that starts in late December and lasts well into mid -January. However, trade activity may remain low due to the recent cold storm affecting most of the country," adds the attache.