The Ukrainian Grain Association preliminarily estimates the potential crop of 2023 at 68 MMT of grains and oilseeds, which is 36% less than the 2021 harvest (106 MMT) before the full-scale russian invasion. In 2022, the UGA estimates the crop reached 73.8 MMT of grains and oilseeds.
The significantly lower volume of the future crop is due to the partial occupation of the territory of Ukraine, mining, and fighting, as well as the lack of funds and other resources for farmers to conduct a full sowing campaign and grow crops. UGA forecasts that about 19.5 million hectares will be sown in total, compared to 25 million hectares in previous years. Of course, a lot depends on how the sowing campaign is completed and on further weather conditions.
Under these conditions, Ukraine’s exports in the new 2023/2024 season may reach 43.9 MMT. In the current season (which will end on June 30, 2022), exports may reach 56.4 MMT, provided that the sea route of exports is maintained. At the same time, the stocks at the beginning of the new season may amount to about 11.9 MMT of grains and oilseeds, which is 3 times more than in previous seasons, except for 2022/2023 MY, when the stocks were the highest – about 25 MMT.
This year’s harvest will be characterized by a decrease in grain crop due to the decrease in the seeded grain area compared to last year, while the crop forecast for oilseeds is up due to a corresponding increase in the oilseeds seeded area.
The wheat crop in Ukraine in 2023 may amount to only 17.9 MMT (20.2 MMT in 2022, and a record 33 MMT in 2021), with the wheat-seeded area decreasing by more than 2 mln hectares. However, it is more than enough to meet domestic demand and food security (especially when about 7 million Ukrainians have left the country), but will reduce the export potential to ensure food security in the world. Given the lower harvest, wheat exports in 2023/2024 MY may amount to about 15 MMT, considering that at the beginning of the season, stocks will amount to 5.3 MMT.
The barley harvest is estimated at 4.4 MMT in 2023 (10.1 MMT in 2021, and 5.8 MMT in 2022), and exports in 2023/2024 MY can be expected at 2 MMT. The corn crop in the new season can be expected at 23.3 MMT due to the decrease of the corn seeded area by about 800 thsd ha (in 2021 – 37.6 MMT, in 2022 – 27.3 MMT), while the exports can be about 19 MMT, taking into account the stocks at the beginning of the new season at the level of 2.3 MMT.
The sunflower crop in 2023 is expected to reach 12.7 MMT due to the increase of the planted area by the same 800 thsd ha this year compared to the previous year (in 2021 – 16.9 MMT, in 2022 – 11.1 MMT), and the exports may reach 1.2 MMT. Sunflower processing for oil may reach 11.5 MMT.
The rapeseedcrop forecast in 2023 is estimated at 3.8 MMT, while exports in 2023/2024 MY are expected at 3.5 MMT. The soybean harvest is expected to reach almost 4.4 MMT, and exports in 2023/2024 MY can be expected at 3 MMT.
In general, the exports of grains and oilseeds in 2023/2024 MY can be expected at the mentioned level if the Ukrainian Black Sea ports continue to operate. The world has already seen that exporting grain through Ukrainian ports and ensuring the safety of navigation in the Black Sea is the only way to supply Ukrainian grain quickly and efficiently to countries that desperately need it.
A decrease in Ukraine’s grain harvest and exports will have a negative impact on the availability of grain on the world market and will lead to higher prices and, consequently, higher food inflation in the world.
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