KIEV, UKRAINE — After a disappointing year for corn and wheat production and exports, Ukraine is expected to set records in those categories in the 2021-22 marketing year, according to a recent Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The 2020-21 crop was plagued by bad weather that led to smaller planted area and reduced yield. Corn production in 2021-22 is forecast to increase by 29% to 39 million tonnes, while corn exports are projected to increase by 41% to 34 million tonnes, the USDA said.
Wheat output is expected to rise by 27% to 32.1 million tonnes this year, while wheat exports are pegged at 23.8 million tonnes, which would be a 41% increase.
The USDA said that in 2020-21, Ukraine made significant inroads as a supplier of barley and corn. About 70% of its total barley exports went to China. Meanwhile, corn exports to China grew by 67% despite a 21% decrease of total grain exports from October 2020 to June 2021.
“This mainly happened because of a sharp decrease in exports to the EU by 33% in the same period,” the USDA said.
The report also noted that wheat flour exports in 2020-21 plummeted by 57% compared to the previous year mainly because local millers were squeezed out of competition with grain exporters due to soaring grain prices. Also playing a role in the decline is that Ukraine exports more than half of its wheat flour volume to markets that tend to be price sensitive.