Ukrainian market of peas — changes of the export geography




For a long time, the Ukrainian market of peas was considered as one of the most perspective segments in terms of the exports. Also, the price factor plays its important role in this context. In May 2016, the prices reached their peak. As a result, agrarians started actively increasing the production of peas, combined with increasing of the export volumes of the pulse crop from the ports of Ukraine. In 2017/18 MY, multinational corporations became seriously interested in the market segment, they concluded contracts for the supply of large-scale batches to India and Pakistan, thereby complicated the work of small-scale exporters and reduced the share of container supplies of Ukrainian peas.

However, in November 2017 the situation changed 180-degree turn, after India increased the import duties on peas to the maximum allowable level according to the WTO requirements (50%). The current article focuses on the consequences of the situation development, and conditions of the market segment in the beginning of 2018/19 MY.


Supply & demand balances

2017/18 MY became the season of records for the Ukrainian peas market. Last season, the planted areas under peas increased by 73.5% — to 416 thsd ha. Despite reduction of the average yield from 3.13 t/ha to 2.65 t/ha, in 2017 Ukraine harvested 1.1 mln tonnes of peas, and exported 872 thsd tonnes, up 86.4% compared with the figures in 2016/17 MY.

However, it is important to make some clarifications. First, in 2017/18 MY the export volumes of peas from Ukraine to India increased in more than 2.2 times — from 168 thsd tonnes in 2016/17 MY, to 376 thsd tonnes last season. Second, Ukraine supplied 78% of the reporting volumes in July-October of 2017 (i.e. before the growth of the protective duties by India), and in November 2017 the monthly deliveries significantly decreased. In addition, since mid-November 2017 the government of India canceled the ban on exports of all types of pulses from the country.

Third, India is the key global importer of pulses and operates as the pricing trendsetter, so the decision led to lowering of prices by traders and crop processors. Therefore, the trend had effect on the interest of agrarians in cultivation of the crop.

In 2018/19 MY, the planted areas under peas in Ukraine also slightly increased. Due to the further decreasing of yield by almost 30% — to 1.89 t/ha, in 2018 the production of peas in Ukraine totaled 795 thsd tonnes. Taking into account the lowest ending stocks for 3 recent seasons, in the current season the export potential of Ukrainian pulses varies at the level of 510 thsd tonnes.

It should be noted that the lower cost of peas made it more attractive in terms of food and feed consumption, which volumes increased by 10% and 57.1% — to 110 thsd tonnes and 55 thsd tonnes, respectively.


Supply and demand balances of peas in Ukraine






2017/18 - 2016/17

2018/19 - 2017/18

Planted areas, `000 ha






Yield, t/ha






Production, `000 tonnes


1 098




Exports, `000 tonnes







Price situation and factors

The season-2017/18 demonstrated more dynamic price situation than 2016/17 MY. Last season, the prices started with the upward trend, as well as trading and purchasing activity rates increased on both domestic and export markets. However, increasing of the import duties on peas by India fundamentally changed the situation development, and until the end of last season the trend of price lowering dominated in the market sector.

2018/19 MY also started with the upward price trend, and some uncertainty with the traditional sales markets also held down the stronger price growth. In particular, India banned the imports of yellow peas for 3 months (April 1 – June 30, 2018). The authorities imposed the ban, in order to support the domestic producers and stabilize the prices, and later extended the ban for 3 additional months — until September 30, 2018.

In terms of such unpredictable situation with the key sales market of peas, many participants of the Ukrainian market cut over to work other directions in terms of both geography and supplied crops.

So, in the season-2018/19 the bid prices for yellow peas in the ports of Ukraine increased from 5`500-5`850 UAH/t to 6`100-6`700 UAH/t CPT-port. At the same time, holding down of large-scale crop batches by agrarians and the situation on the adjacent markets provided the major support for the prices.


Looking for new sales markets

For the foregoing reasons, in the first 3 months of the season (July-September) Ukraine decreased the export volumes of peas in almost 2 times, and according to preliminary estimations of APK-Inform analysts, the supplies totaled nearly 166 thsd tonnes. At the same time, the exports to India decreased by 90% — to 14.4 thsd tonnes, against 138.8 thsd tonnes in the same period last season, thereby the country moved from the first position in the rating of importers of Ukrainian peas to the fourth one.

Also, Spain and Yemen rushed into the TOP of importers with the volumes of 61.6 thsd tonnes and 20.4 thsd tonnes, up nearly 24 times compared with last year. Turkey with the volume of 17.6 thsd tonnes kept its third position in the rating, but the import volumes almost halved compared with last year. Also, in the reporting period Malaysia decreased peas imports from Ukraine by 60%. At the same time, Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh increased the imports in 1.5-2 times, and Egypt — up 3.4 times.


As for the geography and volumes of peas exports in the current season, we should note that to date such region as South Asia, which was the leader in the imports of the crop from Ukraine for a long time, occupied the 3 position only with the volume of 38 thsd tonnes, down 158 thsd tonnes compared with the same period of 2016/17 MY. At the same time, the EU market moved from the third position to the first one, with the growth of 30 thsd tonnes of peas, mainly at the expense of Spain and Poland, which neutralized the significant reduction of supplies to the Netherlands. For two recent seasons, the Middle East region kept the second position, but for the first 3 months of 2018/19 MY the region slightly reduced the imports.





To date, the Ukrainian market of peas demonstrates rather mixing prospects of development, which despite the significant reduction of shipment volumes, still remains the export-oriented segment.

To date, Spain already increased its purchases of Ukrainian peas in almost 2 times, and Yemen — up 1.5 times compared with the volumes purchased in Ukraine for the whole 2017/18 MY. Due to domestic problems, Turkey can keep the current trend and significantly reduce the imports of Ukrainian peas, and switch towards wheat imports and flour exports. The market of Pakistan is perspective and active, while has rather limited scope. So, the situation with India causes some uncertainty. Then who will head the rating of countries-importers of Ukrainian peas in 2018/19 MY?


Anna Tanskaya, APK-Inform Agency