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January 6, 14:14 Source: APK-Inform Views: 313

Black Sea grains in 2017 – quality characteristics and trends

In 2017, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan produced a good harvest of grain crops, which allowed to the Black Sea countries to form a high export potential. But the qualitative features of grains supplied on foreign markets became the important factor of its maximum sales activity. The current article mainly focuses on the quality characteristics of Black Sea wheat, as well as barley and corn. Let's start with the most interesting crop – soft wheat.

 

Wheat

Russia

Due to the favorable influence of weather conditions on formation of the organic complex of wheat in the main export-oriented regions-producers, Southern and Volga-Uralsk regions, at the same time with the general reduction of protein content, we observed some increasing of the level of gluten content and a clear improvement of rheological characteristics, i.e. the indicator W, in comparison with the quality of the previous year harvest.

In the period of ear growth and formation, in the central part of Russia heavy precipitations significantly reduced the efficiency of crop areas treatment by insecticides and herbicides. As a result, the reporting region faced a slight growing of the share of wheat with increased content of grains damaged by plant-feeder bugs, as well as increasing of the level of weed contamination and the average level of moisture content. While estimating the quality characteristics, there is observed a slight decreasing in the general level of protein and gluten quality with some improvement of rheological characteristics of wheat, mainly at the expense of increased gluten content.

Also, it should be noted an objective improvement of the average results of natural weight in the territory of all major regions-producers, where most grain batches varied within the range of 78-80 kg/hl, as well as a significant increasing of the Hagberg falling number, which is certainly good for the export purpose.

 

Ukraine

As for the changes of qualitative characteristics of grains grown in Ukraine, it is necessary to note some decreasing of the general level of protein content and a slight decreasing of gluten content, and in some regions – increasing of the share of grains, damaged by plant-feeder bugs (changes from 0.94% to 1.23%). At the same time, the rheological characteristics were quite stable, and in most cases the batches can be used for bakery purposes.

The following diagrams provide some estimations of the export potential of the grain grown in 2017, by the level of protein content.

 

Export potential of wheat in 2017/18 MY by protein content

 

 

 

Barley and corn

Generally, the qualitative characteristics of barley, grown in 2017 in both Russia and Ukraine, met all export requirements. Qualitative characteristics of the first half of harvested corn volumes demonstrated the following results (table 1).

 

Quality of corn of the harvest-2017

Russia

Parameter

Average value

Minimum value

Maximum value

Moisture

12.7

10.36

13.78

Weed impurity

0.69

0.37

1.24

Broken kernel, EN

2.43

1.17

3.54

Ambrosia content, pcs/kg

109

0

485

 

Ukraine

Parameter

Average value

Minimum value

Maximum value

Moisture

14.0

11.98

14.67

Weed impurity

0.9

0.12

3.25

Broken kernel, EN

2.94

0.20

7.10

Ambrosia content, pcs/kg

2

0

13

 

At the same time, the qualitative characteristics of corn should be estimated with a special care, because the reporting data are related to the harvested volumes before beginning of the rainy weather and frosts. The second half of the harvested volumes always demonstrates a high level of moisture content and high number of broken kernels.

The table demonstrates that grains grown in both countries are undoubtedly attractive in terms of their quality characteristics, which is completely confirmed by the export figures of the first half of the season.

 

Kazakhstan

As for the quality of grains grown in Kazakhstan, it should be noted that the figures are certainly higher in terms of the previous year harvest. The situation developed due to the favourable influence of climatic conditions in the periods of growth and ripening processes. The dry weather conditions with sufficient temperature rates allowed growing wheat with high content of protein, gluten, sufficient natural weight and high falling number. Reduction of the general moisture content will allow to agricultural producers to reduce the costs of grain drying in the storage terms.

It stands to mention the high quality of new crop hard wheat. In the current season, the conditions of grain ripening contributed to formation of high-protein grain with high vitreousness, which varied within 65-95%, according to the international standards.

 

Export geography of Black Sea grains

According to the official figures, as of December 1, 2017, the exports of grains from Russia became much higher than the index on the same date of the previous year, and totaled nearly 23 mln tonnes, including wheat – 18 mln tonnes, barley – 3 mln tonnes, and corn – 1.8 mln tonnes. Such traditional markets as Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Kenya, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, Azerbaijan, South Korea became the major trade destinations, as well as new destinations, including Vietnam. Reef, Glencore, Aston, Louis Dreyfus Company, KZP Expo and Cargill took the leading positions among companies-exporters.

As of the same date, the export volumes from Ukraine totaled more than 15 mln tonnes, including over 9 mln tonnes of wheat, nearly 4 mln tonnes of barley, and nearly 3.5 mln tonnes of corn. China, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Egypt and the Netherlands became the main export destinations. Louis Dreyfus, Bunge, Nibulon, ADM, Cargill, Kernel, Cofko were among the key exporters.

Also, the exports from Kazakhstan totaled nearly 2.4 mln tonnes, including nearly 1.8 mln tonnes of grains and 0.643 mln tonnes of flour. Key export destinations remained unchanged: China, Iran, Italy (mainly hard wheat), Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Russia. The main companies-exporters: APK Invest, KazExportAstyk, Serkan Invest, Atameken, Glencore, Cargill, Corporation.

While estimating the average figures within the audited batches by JSC SGS Vostok Limited (SGS Group), there are the following values (table 2):

 

Parameter

Russia

Ukraine

Kazakhstan

Protein on dry basis, %

12.24

11.92

13.61

Moisture, %

11.84

12.3

13.4

Natural weight, kg/hl

81.4

80.0

76.0

Weed impurity, %

0.62

0.40

1.8

W

243

218

330

Grains, damaged by corn-bug, %

0.48

0.81

0.7

Hagberg falling number, c

352

368

346

Crude gluten (ISO 21415-2), %

24.1

24.7

26.5

 

We should note that the export potential of Black Sea grains in the current season is really large-scale, both in quantitative and qualitative level, and its realization depends not only on the macroeconomic indices of the countries, but also on the correct estimations of the real qualitative features of grain batches. Cooperation with reliable partners, the maximum attention to small details and nuances, etc. can serve the mainstay of successful work, and allow to keep the conquered positions on the global market by agricultural producers of Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan.

 

Irina Sarycheva,

Customer relations and regulatory compliance manager,

Agricultural department at JSC SGS Vostok Limited (SGS Group)

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