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Ukraine Grain Exports to Slide in 2023/24 Despite Recent Improvements

09.11.2023 20:43 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) According to the report of the USDA Grain: World Markets and Trade (November 2023), as Ukraine continues to leverage export routes outside of its major Black Sea ports, 2023/24 grain exports are forecast up 1.7 million tons this month to 34.1 million on upward adjustments for wheat, corn, and to a lesser extent barley. Despite this, grain exports are still forecast down 27 percent from the prior year and 28 percent from the pre-war 5-year average owing to limited seaborne export capacity following the expiration of the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BGSI). The expected decline in exports is also partially due to smaller carry-in stocks. Though grain production is forecast up 3.5 million tons in 2023/24, carry-in stocks are 9.5 million tons lower than the prior year.

Ukraine wheat exports are forecast up 1.0 million tons this month to 12.0 million. Despite declining harvested area, 2023/24 Ukraine wheat production exceeds last years estimate on rebounding yields. Even with a larger crop, overall wheat supplies are down 11 percent from the previous year. With the expiration of BSGI, only minimal shipments have gone through the alternative Black Sea humanitarian corridor so far, so Ukraine largely relies on transshipment through the Romanian port of Constanta or other European countries via rail, truck, or barge. Following harvest in July, Ukraine has exported 4.8 million tons of

wheat1 so far this marketing year (Jul/Jun), down 500,000 tons from the same period last year. Most wheat exports are destined for Romania, Spain, or Egypt as Ukraine has limited ability to ship large volumes to sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

Ukraine corn exports (Oct-Sep) are forecast up 500,000 tons this month to 20.0 million tons. Estimates for 2023/24 corn production have increased over the growing period and current year production is expected to eclipse last year. In the absence of the BGSI, most Ukraine corn exports are likely destined for the European Union, which is forecast to import a near-record amount of corn. Preliminary data from the Government of Ukraine indicated that only about 1.0

million tons of corn were exported in October. Historically, the 6 months from November to May make up the bulk of Ukraine corn export volume.

For both wheat and corn, export forecasts have not increased commensurately with forecasts for domestic production. As was the case in the post-invasion months of 2021/22, the lack of substantive exports via the Black Sea for Ukraine is expected to result in the accumulation of substantial ending stocks.

Agro Perspectiva

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