Astarta improves operating results

23 April 2023

In the first quarter of 2023, Astarta increased sales of all major types of products sugar, grains, milk and soybean oil.

According to the trade report for the first quarter of 2023, the company's sugar sales increased by 56% y-o-y and amounted to 50.8 thousand tons.

According to our estimates, a significant share in the structure of Astarta's sugar sales is exports - the company is one of the largest exporters of sugar in the country, while in the current season Ukrainian sugar exports have shown significant growth.

Astarta sugar sales Q1 2023

The average selling price of Astarta sugar in the first quarter of 2023 in hryvnias increased by 42% y-o-y (while the average price of sugar in Ukraine, according to the State Statistics Committee, increased by 29 %).

In the reporting period, the volume of grain sales also increased. Wheat sales amounted to 40.8 thousand tons, compared to only 10 thousand tons in the first quarter of 2022. The reason is that, unlike last season, when Astarta sold most of the wheat crop almost immediately after harvesting, due to logistical difficulties with export, the main part of the 2022 wheat crop was sold in the fourth quarter of 2022, the rest now - in the first quarter of 2023.

With the corn the situation is somewhat similar - in the last season 2021/22, the company sold more than 50% of the harvest of this crop almost immediately after harvesting - in the fourth quarter of 2021. In the current season, due to the same difficulties with exports, only 82 thousand tons were sold in the last quarter of 2022.

But in the first quarter of 2023, the volume of corn sales increased by 14% compared to last year and amounted to 227,000 tons. It is worth noting that - taking into account the overall decrease in Astarta's corn harvest in the 2022/23 season (caused by the decrease in planted areas) - as of the end of March, the company sold almost the entire crop of the current season. So in the short term (until the new harvest), Astarte does not depend on the functioning of the grain corridor.

The average sale price of corn in the reporting period was almost UAH 10,000 per 1t (+32% compared to last year), wheat UAH 6,900 (-17%).

The average sale price of sunflower also decreased - by 16% compared to last year (up to UAH 15.9 thousand per 1 ton), while sunflower sales increased by 47% compared to last year - to 31.6 thousand tons.

In general, according to our estimates, due to the excess of sunflower supply over demand from processors (you can read more about this in our recent overview of the Ukrainian sunflower and sunflower oil market), the profitability of sunflower growing by Ukrainian producers in the current season was not high. On the other hand, we note the relatively high yield of sunflowers in Astarta (in 2022 it amounted to 3.0 t/ha), so, according to our estimates, the company's sunflower growing profitability was at least 20-25%.

The dynamics of sales of soybean oil and meal, as well as milk, were good in the reporting quarter (it should be noted separately that the sales of milk increased by 19% y-o-y). General data are presented in the table below:

Sales volume, tons Q1 2022 Q1 2023
Sugar 32 64150 800
Wheat 10 10440 846
Corn 199 867227 237
Sunflower 21 57631 617
Soybean oil 5 99010 158
Soybean meal 39 08441 311
Milk 24 30028 810

Astarta's financial report for 2022 will be published next week, while the report for the first quarter of 2023, according to the company's plans, will be published on May 17.

Updated information on Astarte's plantation acreage in 2023 can be found at the link.

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