According to the Customs Statistics, Ukraine imported 36.6 thsd tonnes of barley at the sum of 241.1 mln UAH in July-February of 2020/21MY, up by almost 56 times compared to the same period of the last season (654.2 tonnes) and up by 50 times compared to the result of the full 2019/20 MY (733.5 tonnes). Import of barley reached monthly high in February (22.9 thsd tonnes).
Higher import of barley, similar to the situation with higher wheat purchases, is largely due to a significant increase of domestic prices, while the internal supply of the grain is sufficient to cover domestic consumption in Ukraine.
32.9 thsd tonnes (or 90%) of the imported volume of barley were purchased in Russia in October-February at the sum of 210.9 mln UAH. The weighted average price of 1 tonne of barley increased from 5695 UAH to 6637 UAH over this period. According to price monitoring of APK-Inform, the average bid price of barley increased from 6050 UAH/t to 8000 UAH/ t on the domestic Ukrainian market.
Feed barley could theoretically be replaced with domestically produced corn in the diet of agricultural animals. However, the average bid prices of corn also increased - from 5850 UAH/t to 8200 UAH/t on the domestic market of Ukraine during this period.
APK-Inform estimates barley production in Ukraine in 2020/21 MY at 7.8 mln tonnes (-12% from 2019/20 MY), domestic consumption - at 3.7 mln tonnes (-8%) and export potential - at about 4.3 mln tonnes (-15%). Ukraine has already exported 93% of its barley export potential in July-February.
“Thus, there is no shortage of barley in Ukraine, as well as wheat. The increase in imports happened as processors are searching for cheaper grain of similar quality”, - the analysts concluded.