November 28, 2017 / 11:05 AM / 2 months ago

India becomes biggest consumer of Ukraine agriculture exports

KIEV (Reuters) - India was the biggest market for Ukrainian agriculture products in the first 10 month of 2017, importing 11.3 percent of exports in cash terms, Ukraine’s Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday.

Ukrainian agriculture exports were worth $14.7 billion in the 10 months to October, about 23 percent more than in the same period last year, the ministry said in a statement.

Egypt was the second-largest importer, with a 7.5 percent share, and the Netherlands was the third, with 6.9 percent.

The ministry said sunflower oil dominated Ukrainian agriculture exports in January-October, worth $3.6 billion. Ukraine also exported 15.6 million tonnes of maize for $2.4 billion and 14.2 million tonnes of wheat for $2.2 billion.

Ukraine is among the world’s biggest exporters of sunflower oil, maize and wheat.

Agriculture consultancy UkrAgroConsult said Ukrainian sunflower oil available for export was expected to fall 4 percent to 5.58 million tonnes in the 2017/18 season due to a smaller sunflower harvest.

Ukraine has almost completed the 2017 sunseed harvest, threshing 11.9 million tonnes compared with 13.3 million tonnes in 2016.

Sunflower oil exports in the first two months of this season set a record of 850,000 tonnes, up from 710,000 tonnes a year earlier.

UkrAgroConsult said 334,000 tonnes of sunflower oil was exported to India in September-October against 206,000 tonnes in the same two months of 2016. Ukraine’s share of the Indian market rose by 10 percentage points to 39.4 percent.

India is a key market for Ukrainian sunflower oil, taking about a third of exports. The EU takes about 29 percent, while 10 percent goes to China.

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Edmund Blair

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