KIEV, UKRAINE — Ukraine exported 19.5 million tonnes of grain in the current marketing year as of March 30, 2013. In February and March alone, 3.2 million tonnes of grain were supplied to the foreign markets, the Ukrainian Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food reported on April 4. Aditionally, around 1.3 million tonnes more are ready to be shipped off shortly.

"The Agriculture Ministry constantly monitors the balance of grain on the domestic market and keep up with the international situation. If we summarize the grain exports increase in the current marketing year, the supplies exported as of March 30 exceeded the exports of the same period in the previous marketing year by almost four million tons," said the Agriculture Minister of Ukraine Mykola Prysyazhnyuk.

Notably, Ukraine plans to export about 4 million tonnes of grain in 2013 to China alone, having received a $1.5 billion credit from China in March. Out of 4 million tonnes which are to be exported to China in 2013, 2 million tonnes will be purchased directly on Ukrainian market while the remaining 2 million tonnes will be procured through forward contracts, according to Robert Brovdi, deputy chairman of the State Food and Grain Corporation of Ukraine. This will also include the purchase of the 2012 harvest. Remarkably, the contract between Ukraine and China, which was signed in July 2012, stipulated the supply of Ukrainian grain during the period of 15 years.

Earlier, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Director for Agribusiness Gilles Mettetal expressed support for the initiative to create a Grain Twenty of the world grain producers and Ukraine taking important place in this organization. Proposed by the French Minister of Agriculture Stéphane Le Foll, Grain Twenty should unite the world's largest grain producers.

Presently, Ukraine is one of the world's top grain exporters as it takes some of the leading positions on global markets of wheat, barley, and corn. Ukraine has a 12.9% share of the global corn market, 18.5% share - on the world barley market, and a 4.5% share on the wheat market.