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USDA Bureau Foresees Higher Ukraine Corn Exports for 2015/16

In its first forecast for next season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) bureau in Kiev estimates that Ukraine’s corn exports for 2015/16 (October-September) will be 18 million tons – slightly above its estimate of 17.5 million tons for this season, and also above the USDA’s official estimate for 2015/16 Ukrainian corn exports of 16 million tons.

The bureau’s higher export forecast is based on multiple factors including expected corn production of 26.5 million tons this year, healthy yields consistent with yields seen last year, newly planted corn being in good condition, and adequate soil moisture. In addition, the majority of the country’s large agricultural producers have signed contracts securing fertilizer, fuel, seeds, and other inputs at set prices before the collapse of the hryvnia, ensuring adequate production.

Strong production aside, strong sales and exports of the crop will be critical for Ukraine’s farmers in order to gain enough capital to fund the growing of their next crop. Indications are that financial pressure on the country’s grain producers will likely intensify next season as the government proposes to increase import duties on farm inputs by between 5% and 10%, compounding an already tenuous financial production cycle.

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