Astarta - trading report for the first quarter of 2024

April 28, 2024

In the reporting quarter, the company significantly increased sales of sugar and wheat, compared to last year, and reduced sunflower sales.

Astarta has published its trading report for the first quarter of 2024.

Sales volumes, tons Q1 2023 Q4 2023 Q1 2024
Sugar 50 80080 90869 517
Wheat 40 846284 81780 327
Corn 227 237174 302214 970
Sunflower seeds 31 61754 60419 361
Soybean oil 10 15810 37813 546
Soybean meal 41 31145 39942 786
Milk 28 81027 85530 593

According to the report, the company's sugar sales in the first quarter of 2024 amounted to almost 70,000 tons, compared to 50,800 tons in the corresponding period of 2023 and 81,000 tons in the previous quarter.

Note that historically, in recent years, Astarta has sold more sugar in the second half of the calendar year, so the decrease in sales volumes in the reporting quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2023 is not a reason for concern. The dynamics of sugar sales by Astarta in recent years are shown in the graph below:

Astarta sugar sales Q1 2024

The average selling price of sugar in the reporting period was UAH 25 per 1 kg, which is 6% lower than last year's figure (in the EUR equivalent, the price decrease is even greater due to the devaluation of the hryvnia, so we can expect a decrease in the profitability of this business segment).

Regarding the sale of grains and oilseeds, we note a significant increase in sales of wheat - from 40,000 tons a year ago to 80,000 tons, as well as stable sales of corn - at the level of about 220,000 tons, even despite the significant reduction in the harvest of this crop in in 2023 compared to the previous year (due to a significant decrease in corn planted areas).

According to our estimates, the main driver of grain sales in the first quarter of 2024 was a significant increase in 3rd party grains trading volumes (Astarta increased trading volumes in 2023, so it continues active operations in Y2024).

In the reporting period, the company reduced sunflower sales by 40% (to 19.4 thousand tons), but increased the sale of rapeseed (almost 20 thousand tons compared to the minor volume in the first quarter of 2023).

According to our estimates, the main reason for the decrease in sunflower sales is low stock at the beginning of the reporting period compared to last year's (due to active sunflower sales Q4 2023, when Astarta sold main part of its Y2023 sunseeds crop). The sales of rapeseed increased due to a significant growth in the sown area of this crop in 2023 compared to the previous year.

In the first quarter of 2024, Astarta increased sales of soybean oil (13.5 thousand tons) compared to both previous quarter and Q1 2023, sales of soybean meal also remained quite significant (43 thousand tons). Taking these data into account, we can conclude that the soybean processing segment performs quite well at the beginning of 2024.

We should also note the increase in milk sales - from 28.8 thousand tons during the first quarter of 2023 to 30.6 thousand tons in the reporting quarter - Astarta continues to systematically increase both the volume of milk production and efficiency (in 2023 milk yields increased quite significantly).

In general, we can note the operating results of Astarta in the first quarter of 2024 as quite stable, so we expect financial results of the company to be the same. Our analysis of Astarta's financial results for 2023 can be found at the link.

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