In 2016 Ukrainian farmers may gather one of the richest grain harvests. Amid low world prices and strong competition, the issue of new markets searching becomes highly important.
Considerable increase in wheat imports is expected from several countries: Egypt, Korea, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Morocco.
Growing demand of Korea for wheat imports provides Ukrainian grain exporters with good opportunity to secure a foothold in this market. Last season Ukraine covered nearly 25% of Korea’s wheat demand, mainly of feed quality.
Morocco may increase imports due to acute reduction of its own wheat production. Imports may reach 5-5.5 MMT, about 10% of which will be covered by Ukrainian grain. Ukraine supplies about 0.5 MMT of wheat to Morocco annually.
In 2016 Saudi Arabia intends to complete transition to full import dependence and stop growing wheat due to water deficit and high grain cultivation cost. Import needs of the country will increase by 15%, compared with the previous marketing year. Traditionally, Saudi Arabia buys wheat from EU countries. Grain imports from Ukraine are represented by barley, while wheat is purchased in very small quantities.
Thailand, which was the number one in Ukrainian wheat buyers ranking in the 2015/2016 season, may lose its leading position due to expected reduction of import demand by 1 MMT compared to last year.
Ukrainian grain has weak position in Turkish market. Last season only 2-3% of imported wheat was of Ukrainian origin. The tendency is likely to continue in a new season, due to forecast increase in production and exports of Russian grain, which dominates the Turkish market. (UkrAgroConsult/Business World Magazine)