Agri Commodities Preview: Ukraine Corn and Barley Production To Decline In 2017/18

As per the latest release from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Ukraines 2017 harvest resulted in 26.1 million metric tons (MMT) of wheat, 24.1 MMT of corn, 8.3 MMT of barley, and 507 thousand metric tons (MT) of rye, according to data from the State Statistics Service of Ukraine (SSSU). This resulted in wheat production volumes remaining almost identical to their 2016 level. The volume of corn production decreased by almost 14 percent compared to 2016 levels; barley production decreased by around 12 percent, and rye production increased by almost 30 percent. This data does not include information about crops harvested in the Crimean Peninsula. According to FAS-Kyiv estimates, Crimea produced around 871 thousand MT of wheat, 416 thousand MT of barley, 3 thousand MT of rye, and around 7 thousand MT of corn in 2017. Production, Supply and Distribution (PSD) data for wheat, corn and barley have been adjusted, taking into account Crimean Peninsula estimates both in terms of area and volumes of production.

According to SSSUs data, fall 2017 planting area for winter crops totaled: winter wheat – around 6.3 million hectares (ha), barley – 825 thousand ha, and rye -149 thousand ha. Compared to fall 2016, wheat area increased by almost 3 percent, while barley and rye areas decreased by around 6 and 12 percent, respectively. According to both the national weather service as well as farmers reports, the 2018 winter conditions in Ukraine were considered as generally favorable. As such, FAS-Kyiv sets the initial winterkill estimate for all winter crops at 5 percent. That estimate could be subject to further revisions if excess moisture results in additional damage to crops. During March of 2018, Ukraine featured unusual weather anomalies, including snowfalls and low air temperatures. According to spring planting data provided by the Ministry Agricultural Policy and Food of Ukraine (MAPF), as of April 10, 2018, farmers planted areas of spring crops totaled: wheat – 13 thousand ha, 91-percent behind compared to area planted by the same date of the previous year; and barley – 241 thousand ha, 83-percent behind the previous year.