A speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin announcing plans for partial military mobilisation has increased war risks and raised concerns over Ukraine’s export corridor agreement, AgriCensus reported on 21 September.
The partial mobilisation of reservists announced in Putin’s address to his nation on 20 September marked Russia’s first military mobilisation since World War II.
Russia was also expected to announce that referendums would be held in Ukraine’s occupied territories for Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions to join the Russian Federation, which could lead to a further escalation of the conflict, the report said.
The Ukrainian market had a mixed reaction to the developments, according to the report, with some trade sources expressing uncertainty about what to expect next and what would happen given the export corridor agreement – brokered by the United Nations and Turkey – was due to expire on 20 November, while others said they would continue exporting goods as long as possible.
“Given this news, we are not stopping the trade but increasing the pace in order to deliver the grains faster,” one trader was quoted as saying.
Some sources reportedly said that despite the Russian president’s threats, grain exports from Ukraine would continue, with or without Russian guarantees and support.
Global traders were mainly concerned about the stability of grain and vegetable oil supply from the Black Sea region, particularly Ukraine’s export corridor operations, AgriCensus wrote.
“Let’s hope for the best, but for now it looks like further escalation… hopefully Ukraine can beat them already in the East so they will not get that far but there is a very high chance that they close the corridor again I think,” a Europe-based trader told AgriCensus.
Despite the ongoing tensions and fears of escalation, Ukraine was expected to produce 67M tonnes of grains and oilseeds in the 2022/23 marketing year, a result that would still be one of the five biggest harvests in the last 30 years of independence, AgriCensus reported on 20 September from a note by the country’s ministry of agriculture on the same date.
Ukraine is expected to produce 50-52M tonnes of grains and 15-17M tonnes of oilseeds during the period, according to the ministry data. With the volumes significantly higher than domestic consumption demand, a large proportion of production was expected to be available for export, the report said.
The country’s wheat crop was complete at 19M tonnes, the ministry’s statement said, while corn, sunflower and soyabean harvests had only just started.
“We estimate the domestic consumption of grain and oilseeds at the level of 20-22M tonnes. At least 45M tonnes of this crop will be exported,” Taras Vysotsky, First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, was quoted as saying.