Grain traders are trying to get a handle on how the tension in Ukraine is going to affect that country’s grain exports. Morgan Stanley says 90 percent of the grain exported out of Ukraine is through five ports which are not in Crimea although one of the country’s largest ports, Sevastopol is.
U.S. Grains Council regional director Cary Sifferath says Ukraine had a record corn crop and they were projected to export 728 million bushels this year. About 591 million bushels have already been shipped leaving about 138 million still to go between now and June. Sifferath says “Ports are open and vessels are being loaded but shipments are becoming increasingly difficult.”
He notes farmers are holding grain to hedge against devaluing currency. On top of that, corn planting should get underway in the next 30 to 45 days and credit availability may become an issue. Winter wheat and barley were planted before the crisis began.