In April, Ukraine significantly reduced grain exports

1 May 2023

In April 2023, Ukrainian companies exported 3.9 million tons of grain, which is the lowest figure since September 2022, when the grain corridor started to operate.

According to preliminary data from the Ministry of Agriculture, the volume of Ukrainian grain exports in April 2023 amounted to 3.9 million tons, which is significantly less than in March (in which about 5.6 million tons of grain were exported). April exports are the lowest since September 2022, when the grain corridor from Ukrainian Black Sea ports began operating.

Ukrainian corn, wheat, barley export April 2023

There are several reasons for the decrease in exports. First of all, Ukraine is approaching the end of the 2022/23 season, the grain balances in the country are seasonally decreasing. According to our estimates, the current remaining Ukrainian wheat stock available for export till the end of the season is only about 2 million tons, corn stock - 6-7 million tons.

Secondly, exports are slowed down by the actions of representatives of the Russian Federation during the inspection of vessels within the grain corridor initiative. Inspections were suspended several times during April, while their slowdown has already become the norm. Currently, there is no certainty about the formal terms of maturity of the current agreement - the Russian Federation insists that the agreement expires in mid-May, which adds additional uncertainty to the market.

Finally, reason number three is the unilateral stoppage of grain imports from Ukraine by some of its neighbors on the western border, primarily Poland (moreover, the Poles initially banned the transit of Ukrainian grain - only after the intervention of the European Commission the situation with the transit was resolved).

It is interesting that in the previous month - March 2023 - Ukrainian grain exports to Poland amounted to only 130,000 tons - 2% of the total volume.

In total, since the beginning of the current season in July 2022, Ukraine exported 41.6 million tons of grain, 10% less than in the corresponding period of the previous season (at the same time, this is the third biggest volume for July-April in Ukrainian history).

Wheat was exported in the volume of 14.4 million tons (-23% compared to the previous season), corn 24.7 million tons (+11% due to the export of significant carry-out stock of the record harvest of 2021), barley 2.5 million tons (-57%).

Due to all the above-mentioned problems, we can expect a further slowdown in the export of grain from Ukraine, but even despite this, by the end of the current season, Ukraine will additionally export at least 5-6 million tons of grains.

General Ukrainian grains export statistics for the last several years is available here.

Ukrainian grains growing statistics (corn, wheat, sunflower seeds, soybeans - sown area, yields, total output) is available here.

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