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Exports of Ukrainian grain continue, albeit at reduced levels

  • Key Message Update
  • Ukraine
  • October 2023
Exports of Ukrainian grain continue, albeit at reduced levels

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Exports of Ukrainian grain via its Black Sea ports have declined since the expiration of the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI) in mid-July 2023, though not to the extent that many anticipated. According to Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov, more than 1.3 million tons of agricultural commodities have been exported from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports via the newly established coastal humanitarian shipping corridor since the expiration of the BGSI. However, increased export capacity via the Danube River ports continues to play the more crucial role. In total, Ukraine has exported around 8.7 million tons of grain and legumes since the start of the 2023/24 marketing year on July 1, 2023 (of which, around 2 million tons were exported in October), according to data from the Ukrainian Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food (MoAPF). This is around a 30 percent reduction from the 12.3 million tons exported in the same time period of the prior year.
    • World Bank price forecasts released in late October 2023 maintain earlier April 2023 projections for global prices of wheat in 2024 and slightly decrease earlier projections for global prices of maize in 2024, despite the expiration of the BGSI. According to the World Bank’s latest October analysis, average global wheat prices in 2024 are forecast to be 2.9 percent lower than average 2023 prices. Meanwhile, average maize prices in 2024 are forecast to be 8 percent lower than average prices in 2023. While lower exports of agricultural commodities from Ukraine continue to contribute to tighter and more volatile global markets, trends in Ukrainian exports are becoming less and less important to overall expectations for global commodity markets, as supply chains and the global market have largely adapted. Rather, greater concern exists for the impacts of future potential shocks. For example, the World Bank warns that further escalation of conflict in the Middle East could reduce global oil supply, driving an increase in global oil prices and ultimately exacerbating inflation around the world.
    • According to NASA Harvest analysis of satellite imagery, an estimated 5.2-6.9 million acres of Ukrainian farmland (6.5-8.5 percent of the country’s total) have been abandoned since the start of the war in Ukraine. Most of the abandoned land is near the frontlines or in territory recently reclaimed by Ukraine. Despite the reduction in farmland amid other challenges faced by Ukrainian farmers, NASA harvest assesses that yields have increased this year due to favorable weather. Furthermore, a recent survey conducted by the Ukrainian MoAPF indicates that most farmers do not plan to reduce planted area in the period for planting winter crops (October/November). However, according to the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), Ukraine faces unprecedented landmine contamination, with an estimated 1,814-9,652 square miles of agricultural land affected according to various available estimates.1 Additionally, NASA harvest describes concern for future agricultural production in areas worst affected by reduced irrigation capacity due to the breach of the Kakhova Dam in June 2023.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Ukraine Key Message Update October 2023: Exports of Ukrainian grain continue, albeit at reduced levels, 2023.

    1

    This range of estimates was provided by CSIS in a presentation hosted by IFPRI on October 26, 2023

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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