Ukraine corn exports in the 2017/18 marketing year were extremely sluggish. In fact, this season featured the slowest pace of Ukrainian corn exports in several years.
Export shipments of Ukrainian corn totaled 15 MMT from September to May of 2017/2018. Compared to last year’s total exports of 18.2 MMT, corn exports are down 17% year-over-year.
This drop was due to a decrease in demand from a few significant markets. Ukrainian corn exports to the EU were down 10% year-over-year, exports to Egypt decreased by 31% year-over-year, and deliveries to Iran and Tunisia fell by a whopping 58% and 43%, respectively. South Korea didn’t import any Ukrainian corn during the 2017/2018 marketing year.
The lone bright spot for Ukrainian corn? China, of course! The People’s Republic increased imports of Ukraine corn by an astounding 182% year-over-year. Exports to Israel also increased slightly, by 14% year-over-year. Exports to Turkey skyrocketed from 93,700 MT to 997,400 MT this marketing year, an improvement of 964% on the year. However, Turkey is not a large enough market to make up for decreased exports to the major markets. Therefore, this was not enough to keep the Ukrainian export pace at the same level as in previous years.
So if Ukraine isn’t exporting corn, who is? If you’ve been reading GrainCents regularly, you might be able to guess the answer: the rising star of global exports, Russia.
During the 2017/2018 marketing year, Russia has been exporting corn at a near-record pace. Last year, Russia exported 5.64 MMT, a record high volume of corn. Following their bumper crop of wheat that flooded the market last year, corn is set to become the next Russian commodity to take over global markets.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on the export pace of Ukrainian and Russian corn, to determine better how shifting global markets might affect prices in North America.