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2021/22 Grain Trade in Flux Amid Russia-Ukraine Conflict

10.03.2022 09:05 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) According to the report of the USDA Grain: World Markets and Trade (March 2022), the conflict in the Black Sea has disrupted the flow of grains from the region and caused great uncertainty in global grain trade. Ukraine has suspended port operations for commercial activities since February 24. Russian grain movement through the Black Sea is also affected by exceptionally high insurance premiums for vessels. In addition, the sanctions that have been applied make commercial transactions challenging. In response, grain prices have soared for all major exporters. This months forecast represents an initial assessment of the short-term impacts as a result of this action. Wheat, corn, and barley are the major grains supplied by Ukraine and Russia.

Wheat: Ukraine accounts for 10percent and Russia for 16percent of global wheat exports in marketing year 2021/22, which began in July. The majority of Ukraines exports are shipped in the first few months of the marketing year, but the closure of ports is currently limiting additional exports. Russia had already been taxing exports (see Grain: World Markets and Trade January 2022page 7) and implemented an export quota on February 15. Russia exempts neighboring Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries from the export quota and maintains access to ship out of the Caspian Sea. In addition to strong exports

from the European Union, India and Australia are expected to ramp up exports to record levels since both have record crops and competitive prices. Meanwhile, global trade is adjusted slightly lower this month as sharply higher wheat prices are trimming demand with importers reducing and deferring purchases and relying on existing stocks.

Corn: Ukraine and Russia combined account for about 16percent of corn exports to the world. This month, exports for Ukraine are forecast lower reflecting port

closures in the Black Sea since the start of Russias invasion. Russia corn exports remain unchanged with the assumption that corn will be shipped via the

Caspian Sea to key markets. U.S. corn exports are boosted, partially offsetting the reduction for Ukraine. New crop supplies from Brazil and Argentina

are expected to come onto the market in a few months and both export forecasts are raised this month.

Barley: Though Ukraine and Russia account for about 30percent of barley exports, global barley trade is up slightly this month due to larger supplies from Australia and a slight increase to Canada. Ukraine barley exports are generally front-loaded after harvest and a majority of the most recent crop has already been shipped, so the effect of port closures on exports is expected to be less severe for barley than for corn. Australia barley production has been revised upward, increasing exportable supplies, and Canadas export volume has been stronger than expected despite its drought-affected production. Both forecasts are raised this month.

Agro Perspectiva

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