The export of Ukrainian soybeans to global markets in 2022/23 MY may become a record for the last five seasons.
According to APK-Inform Agency analysts, soybean export from Ukraine can grow by 96% y-o-y in the current season and reach 2.73 mln tonnes.
"A significant reduction in the value of Ukrainian crops and soybeans, including on the foreign market in 2022, due to complicated logistics after the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, has played a significant role in the increase in export volumes," noted the analysts of APK-Inform Agency.
In September-April 2022/23 MY, Ukraine exported more than 2.5 mln tonnes of soybeans, which is 2.6 times higher y-o-y, reaching maximum volume for the period for the past 3 seasons and one of three highest indicators in history, following September-April of 2016/17 MY (2.57 mln tonnes) and 2019/20 MY (2.54 mln tonnes).
The EU countries has become the main importers of Ukrainian soybeans for 8 months of 2022/23 MY, which increased the purchases 3.2 times to the record in history - 1.2 mln tonnes. The EU share of the total export of soybean from Ukraine was boosted by 48% against 40% in 2021/22 MY.
In terms of the EU, the main importing countries were Romania (322 thsd tonnes; a 98-times increase), Italy (211 thsd tonnes; +5.4 times), the Netherlands (203 thsd tonnes; +31%) and Poland (119 thsd tonnes; +3 times).
In second place in the rating is Turkey with a share of 37%. The export of Ukrainian soybeans in this direction in September-April of the current season also reached a historical maximum – 923 thsd tonnes (a 2.7-times increase y-o-y).
APK-Inform analysts report that Ukrainian soybean exports grew significantly to Egypt (8% share): from the beginning of the current season (September-April) there were 219 thsd tonnes of soybean exported, which is 10 times higher y-o-y.
It should be noted that traditionally the "peak" of soybean shipments to foreign markets in the 2022/23 MY shifted to March, amounting to 417 thsd tonnes. In addition, it became the highest monthly indicator since January 2020.
But already in April, due to a significant decrease in demand from Romania, Poland and Hungary, the export of Ukrainian soybeans more than halved, amounting to about 168 thsd tonnes. Thus, in the reporting month, the 3 specified countries reduced the purchase of Ukrainian soybeans by 48% due to the protests of local farmers, the introduction of unilateral restrictions on the import of Ukrainian raw materials and the blocking of their import at the borders.
For the 8 months of the current season, these 3 countries accounted for a little more than a fifth of the total soybean shipments from Ukraine. Slovakia and Bulgaria together have a share of only 1%, in addition, a significant decrease in exports to these countries was not recorded.
After agreements with the European Commission, soybeans were removed from the list of banned goods, but protests in the countries continued, which may affect further demand and export volumes to Eastern Europe.
Nevertheless, the pace of exports picked up a little in May: in the 2 weeks of the current month, the volume of soybean shipments reached almost 100 thsd tonnes, but Egypt became the leader among importers, accounting for about 40% of total exports. EU countries were in second place with a share of 36%.
"In the future, the import demand for Ukrainian soybeans will be significantly adjusted under the influence of external factors: sufficient reserves of raw materials from key European importers and an increase in the supply of oilseeds from the new crop from South America, as well as internal factors: a seasonal reduction in the supply of raw materials, the difficult work of the "grain corridor" and in general uncertainty regarding the future fate of the Grain Agreement", - experts of APK-Inform note.
In addition, the volume of soybean processing in Ukraine also remains high, which makes it a fairly liquid crop both on the domestic and foreign markets, accelerating the reduction of free stocks of raw materials.
The forecast of APK-Inform regarding the export of soybeans in 2023/24 MY, despite the slight reduction, can be called optimistic – according to updated data, the volume of shipments of this crop to foreign markets may amount to about 2.5 mln tonnes (-8%). The expected increase in the soybean harvest in Ukraine in 2023 to 4.2 mln tonnes (+6%), as well as the price competitiveness of Ukrainian soybeans on foreign markets, can contribute to maintaining the given export rate.
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