Ukraine's Corn Exports Trend Up
15.08.2018 17:10 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) —
According to the report of the USDA «Grain:World Markets and Trade» (August 2018), Just in the last 5 years, Ukraine's corn exports have expanded rapidly with rising acreage and competitive prices. Due to its proximity and acceptability as biotech-free, Ukraine corn has been increasing its presence in nearby markets such as the European Union, North Africa, and the Middle East.
One key destination, however, is worth noting: China. In 2012/13, Ukraine exported only 83 tons of corn to China. In 2014/15, exports to China exceeded 4.0 million tons, and in 2017/18, year-to-date exports to China have already exceeded the total amount shipped in 2016/17. This makes Ukraine the top supplier to China for the fourth year in a row, replacing the United States1. For China, particularly in the graindeficit southeastern provinces, Ukraine corn is attractive due to strong demand for feed grains and price competitiveness2. The two countries also have a symbiotic partnership that fits their broader strategic
goals, such as the "loan-for-corn" deal that was signed in 2012.
Furthermore, a year-over-year comparison of Ukraine corn exports shows that the share exported to China has grown at the cost of other smaller destinations in East Asia and in the Rest of the World (ROW). Exports to the European Union have been steady, if not growing, partially due to the duty-free access Ukraine has enjoyed since 2014. Key markets in North Africa and the Middle East have sputtered on increased competition from the United States.
In 2018/19, Ukraine will be in a prime position to continue its growth as a corn exporter, with a growing crop and increasing export dependency. While tighter wheat supplies in Europe could boost demand for corn in the region, a solid partnership with China and rising competitiveness provides significant tailwind for Ukraine exports.