Thomas Grove reported in today’s Wall Street Journal that, “The wheat on Pavlo Sergienko’s 7,400-acre farm is ready to harvest. He has rented the combine and gathered the extra help he will need. His next hurdle: collecting the crops while Russian rockets rain down on his fields nearly every day.
“‘I don’t know how we’ll get everything done,’ Mr. Sergienko said. ‘And how we’re going to transport the wheat from here—that’s another interesting question.’
Today’s article stated that, “‘These are the farms that Ukraine depends on to keep its production going,’ said Elena Neroba, a Ukrainian grain broker. ‘For most small farmers, if they lose their crop, it’s death.'”
Grove added that, “Problems don’t end with the harvest. Farmers often must figure out how to transport their crops through dangerous areas. When a buyer purchases grain, the farmer is sometimes responsible for transporting it.”
Newly declassified intelligence sheds light on Russian forces' attacks on Ukrainian grain terminals – including an attack on the Nika-Terra Grain Terminal in Mykolaiv on or around June 4. The world must hold Russia accountable for its actions that undermine global food security. pic.twitter.com/QQ7BH6LLpG
“Kyiv’s ambassador to Ankara said in early June that Turkish buyers were among those receiving grain that Russia had stolen from Ukraine, adding he had sought Turkey’s help to identify and capture individuals responsible for the alleged shipments.”
“Ukraine is being blackmailed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and therefore it is necessary to develop new transport routes for the long term, said Agricultural Minister Cem Oezdemir at a joint news conference on Friday.”
Elsewhere, Bloomberg News reported today that, “Is the global food crisis past its worst? There’s growing talk that grains and cooking oil prices have peaked — and maybe global food costs have too. More supply is on the way, with winter wheat harvests getting under way in the northern hemisphere, and spring wheat, corn and soybeans following later. The focus then turns to production in Australia, Brazil and Argentina. Barring weather woes, output could rise as farmers plant more in response to elevated prices.
“Global stockpiles will remain crimped in the coming season — and millions of tons of grains are stuck in Ukraine — but they may not get substantially tighter. Some Ukrainian cargoes are reaching Europe, while Russia is heading for a bumper crop. Palm oil, the world’s most consumed edible oil, just slumped to its lowest level this year as top producer Indonesia ramps up exports, while wheat, corn and soybeans have tumbled from their highs. Global food costs have already fallen from their all-time peak in March, and more declines could follow.”
“Warehouses are still full of soybeans, which are reaped only a few months before the corn. In Mato Grosso, soy production was also huge this season and sales have been slower than usual, leaving the warehouses with no room to receive the corn, according to Cleiton Gauer, superintendent at IMEA, Mato Grosso’s rural economy institute.”
The Bloomberg article pointed out that, “The pileup threatens to add further pressure to corn and soy prices that are already slumping in Chicago futures markets amid promising weather in the US growing areas. Corn sank Thursday to the lowest level since before Russia invaded Ukraine, while soybeans touched the lowest level since January with edible oil supply picking up and a broader commodities malaise. The slide in crop futures offers a glimmer of optimism that food inflation may be tempered in coming months, even as prices remain historically high.”
Keith Good is the Farm Policy News editor for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily FarmPolicy.com News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.
Reuters writer Pavel Polityuk reported today that, "Most Ukrainian regions have started 2023 spring sowing, seeding a total of 293,000 hectares of various crops, the agriculture ministry said on Friday."