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Blog by Keith Good, University of Illinois

The USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) indicated last week in its monthly Feed Outlook report that, "Ukraine borders Russia to the north and east, Belarus to the north, and several Eastern European countries-Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Moldova-to the west. The southernmost part of the country is the Crimean Peninsula, which juts into the Black Sea and was occupied by Russia in 2014. The Dnieper River cuts the country into two parts, with the western part somewhat larger, with about 60 percent of the country's land area. The capital Kiev is in the north central part of the country, on the Dnieper."

ERS explained that, "Over the last 15 years, area planted for corn in Ukraine has tripled, while corn yields have roughly doubled.

"Corn is produced mainly in the north, central, and central-west parts of the country-while wheat and barley are grown mainly in the southern and eastern regions. Less than 40 percent of Ukraine's corn is produced east of the Dnieper, largely in the regions in the northern tip of the country.

"Despite having a small share of global corn output, Ukraine is forecast to account for about 17 percent of global corn exports (on an October-September trade year basis).

"Higher corn production has not been matched by rising domestic consumption, as the Ukrainian population is decreasing and livestock development is stalling, making Ukraine an exceptionally export- oriented country. Since about 10 years ago, when the country's corn production and exports soared, Ukraine has become one of the 4 major world exporters of corn, on par with Brazil and Argentina."

With respect to corn exports to China, ERS explained that, "In 2012/13 Ukraine exported corn to China for the first time, and within 2 years (2014/15) Ukraine had become by far the major supplier of corn to the country, supplanting the United States and providing (in any given year) 60 to almost 90 percent of Chinese imports.

When (in 2020) China's demand for imported corn surged and its imports almost quadrupled, the country became Ukraine's largest export destination, for the first time outstripping the European Union. For 2021/22 (for the October- December period), about 30 percent of Ukraine's corn exports went to China, down from about 40 percent during the same period a year ago, which puts Ukraine on track to send about a third of its corn exports to China this year, directly competing with the United States."

To view the complete report, click here.

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