Ukraine Corn Market – MY 2022/2023 Overview


Mar 31, 2023 | Agricultural Markets News

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Ukraine Remains a Major Corn Producer Despite the War

Ukraine is a World-leading Corn producer and exporter. In the MY 2021/2022, driven by a 2.1 mt/ha improvement in yields, Ukraine’s Corn production reached 42 Mmt, increasing by 12 Mmt YoY. Due to the ongoing war, which started in late Feb 2022 i the USDA estimated Ukraine’s Corn production would decrease by 17 Mmt YoY to reach 25 Mmt in the MY 2022/2023. However, in March 2023,  the USDA increased its estimates to 37 Mmt, 2 Mmt higher than the initial estimates, thanks to a 1.24 mt/ha increase in Yield estimates. Despite the challenging geopolitical conditions, Ukraine remains a promising player in the global Corn market.

 Figure 1: Ukraine Corn Production (MY 2019/2020 – 2022/2023)


Soybean Production in the U.S., Argentina, and China between 2018 and 2023

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Ukraine’s Corn Exports Remain Significant Despite the War

Ukraine is a world-leading exporter of Corn, ranking as the second largest exporter at the beginning of 2023. Despite a YoY increase of 12 Mmt in Corn production in the MY 2021/2022, exports decreased by 2.6 Mmt YoY to 22.7 Mmt, mainly due to the disruption caused by the Russian war in Ukraine on the global supply chain. At the beginning of the MY 2022/2023, Ukraine’s Corn exports decreased to 12.5 Mmt between Oct 2022 and Feb 2023,  5.9 Mmt lower YoY. Despite the war, Ukrainian exports remained at a significant level, albeit lower YoY, thanks to the Black Sea Grain deal. Which were the most affected Ukraine’s Corn destinations by the war?

Figure 2:  Ukraine Corn Exports (MY 2020/2021 – 2022/2023)

Brazil and U.S. Monthly Soybean Exports to China Between January 2020 and September 2022

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Brazil Overtakes Ukraine in Spanish and Chinese Corn Markets

In the MY 2021/2022, China was the leading destination for Ukraine’s Corn with 6.2 Mmt, followed by Spain with 3 Mmt and Turkey with 2.4 Mmt. However, between Oct 2022 and Feb 2023, Ukraine’s exports to China decreased by 1.5 Mmt, while Turkey’s imports from Ukraine increased by 0.34 Mmt YoY to 1.7 Mmt, making it the second top destination. Spain, on the other hand, decreased its imports from Ukraine by 0.73 Mmt YoY and ranked as the third destination between Oct 2022 and Feb 2023. During the same period, China and Spain increased their imports from Brazil by 2.1 Mmt and 0.5 Mmt YoY, respectively. As Brazil is becoming more competitive at the beginning of the MY 2022/2023, it raises the question of how Brazil’s Corn prices compare to Ukraine’s in the same period.

Figure 3: Ukraine’s 3 Top Corn Destinations (Oct 2022 – Feb 2023)


Brazil and U.S. Top Soybean Destination Between January and September 2022

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Ukrainian Corn FOB Prices Remain Lower Than Brazil’s in Early 2023

In March 2022, Ukraine Corn FOB prices reached USD 380/mt, the highest value in the past two years, due to the war that began in late February 2022. Similarly, Brazil’s prices were affected by inflation and peaked at USD 363/mt in the same month. Prices for both countries decreased later on. Sincethe beginning of the MY 2022/2023, Ukraine’s Corn prices remain lower than Brazil’s. In December 2022, Ukrainian Corn FOB prices averaged a minimum of USD 221/mt, which was USD 71/mt lower than Brazil’s. As of March 2023, Ukraine’s Corn FOB prices remain USD 40/mt lower than Brazil’s and USD 132/mt lower YoY. However, despite Ukrainian Corn prices being lower, Brazil’s Corn exports remain higher due to obstacles posed by the war in Ukraine, such as fewer insurers providing support for Ukrainian exports

Figure 4: Ukraine and Brazil Corn FOB Prices ( October 2021 – March 2023)



Monthly U.S. & Brazil Soybean Exports CFR Estimations to China Between January 2020 and September 2022

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In a Nutshell

Ukraine is a world-leading producer and exporter of Corn despite the challenges posed by the war with Russia. While Ukraine’s Corn production was estimated to decrease due to the war, the USDA has revised its estimates upwards, thanks to an increase in yields.  Despite lower exports in the MY 2021/2022, Ukraine has remained a significant player in the global Corn market, with China being the leading destination. 

Brazilian Corn prices were higher than Ukrainian Corn prices at the beginning of the MY 2022/2023. However, despite the lower FOB prices, Ukrainian Corn exports have faced obstacles due to the war, resulting in lower exports than Brazil, which overtook Ukraine on the Spanish and Chinese markets. 

On March 18th 2023, the Black Sea new deal was extended for an additional 120 days. This extension will enable Ukraine to continue exporting its agricultural commodities. However, uncertainties still persist due to the ongoing war.