Ukraine says corn exports could fall to 17 million tonnes

One of the world's leading grains suppliers, Ukraine used to ship most of its agricultural goods via Black Sea ports, due to the war, that is no longer possible.

  A combine machine harvests corn in a field near the village of Moskovskoye, outside Stavropol in southern Russia, October 14, 2014.  (photo credit: REUTERS/Eduard Korniyenko/File Photo)
A combine machine harvests corn in a field near the village of Moskovskoye, outside Stavropol in southern Russia, October 14, 2014.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Eduard Korniyenko/File Photo)

 Ukraine's corn exports could fall to 17 million tonnes in 2021/22, a senior agriculture official said on Wednesday, down from 23.1 million tonnes the previous year, reflecting the impact of Russia's invasion.

Sunflower oil exports over the same period could drop to 3.4 million tonnes, down from 5.3 million tonnes, Deputy Agriculture Minister Roman Rusakov said at a conference in Prague.

Ukraine is the world's largest sunflower oil producer and exporter. Producers had said before the war that the exports could reach 6.6 million tonnes in the 2021/22 season.

Analyst APK-Inform said on Saturday that export prices for Ukrainian corn had fallen due to limited demand and large stocks, which since Russia's invasion can only be exported by rail across Ukraine's western border.

One of the world's leading grains suppliers, Ukraine used to ship most of its agricultural goods via Black Sea ports, but with fighting along much of the coast traders have been scrambling to transport more grain by rail.

An aerial view shows corn stalks planted by Ukrainian farmers in the shape of the national coat of arms, trident, ahead of the country's 30th anniversary of independence, in a field near Boryspil International Airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine July 22, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/GLEB GARANICH)An aerial view shows corn stalks planted by Ukrainian farmers in the shape of the national coat of arms, trident, ahead of the country's 30th anniversary of independence, in a field near Boryspil International Airport outside Kyiv, Ukraine July 22, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/GLEB GARANICH)

APK-Inform said corn prices with April-May delivery stood at $240-$250 per tonne DAP (Delivered at Place) on the Polish border, down by as much as $15 a tonne from a week earlier.

Ukrainian officials have said the country's corn stocks totalled about 13 million tonnes at the end of March, with only 300,000 tonnes of the grain exported during the month.

Taras Vysotskiy, another Ukrainian deputy agriculture minister, told the Prague conference that Ukraine could export 2 million tonnes of wheat in the remainder of the current season that runs to the end of June.

Vysotskiy did not provide a forecast for total 2021/22 wheat exports that could be compared with the prior year's figure.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a "special operation" to destroy Ukraine's military capabilities and capture what it views as dangerous nationalists, but Ukraine and the West say Russia launched an unprovoked war of aggression.