Is Ukraine Running Out Of Wheat?

Cash-strapped Ukraine continues to export any grain it's got left, with total 2009/10 marketing year grain exports to the end of February running at 16.3 MMT, 2% up on the 16.0 MMT exported at the same time last year, despite production being 13% lower.

If you scratch a little deeper, you find that there are a few more signs of a significant change going on with exports from the Black Sea nation.

In January, Ukraine exported 1.78 MMT of grain, of which 38% (680,000 MT) was wheat. By last month wheat exports fell sharply to just 200,000 MT - less than a third of what was exported in January - and accounting for only 18% of the 1.1 MMT of grain that was shipped out of the country.

Jan 1st wheat stocks were pegged at 7.6 MMT, down or 25% on Jan 1st 2009, according to the State Statistics Committee. The latest figures now show that 880,000 MT of that has subsequently been exported, plus the USDA currently have them consuming 1 MMT/month domestically.