Reuters writer Ronald Popeski reported yesterday that “Ukraine is in talks with Turkey and the United Nations to obtain guarantees for grain exports from Ukrainian portsPresident Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Monday.
“‘Talks are actually going on right now with Turkey and the UN (and) our representatives who are responsible for the safety of the grain leaving our ports,’ Zelenskiy said at a press conference alongside the Prime Swedish Minister Magdalena Andersson.”
“Zelenskiy said Ukraine was working ‘directly’ with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the issue and that the organization was ‘playing a leading role, not as a moderator,'” the report said. Reuters article.
Meanwhile, Reuters writer Pavel Polityuk reported late last week that “Ukraine’s grain exports fell 43% year-on-year to 1.41m tonnes in Junethe Agriculture Ministry said on Friday, pointing to the damage inflicted on a key sector of the economy by the Russian invasion.
The article noted that “the ministry said that farmers in southern and eastern Ukraine have already started the 2022 harvest, threshing 293,800 tons of grain on about 1% of the sown area.
“He said the farmers had threshed 131,500 hectares and the grain yield averaged 2.23 tonnes per hectare.”
Also last week, Wall Street Journal writers Matthew Luxmoore, Alistair MacDonald and Nancy A. Youssef reported that “Before Ukraine can start exporting grain via the Black Sea, mines must be cleared, warehouses patched up and convinced shipowners take the risk of making the trip.
“In the port city of Odessa, few have faith that it will happen soon.”
If Ukraine and Russia agree to the UN-backed deal – or if the war were to end – it could still take weeks or even months to get the traffic moving again, according to Ukrainian officials and industry players. ‘industry.
Elsewhere, Wall Street Journal writer William Mauldin reported earlier this week that “days before Russia invaded its smaller neighbor, Moscow issued a series of nautical alerts that effectively cordoned off sections of the Black Sea near the Ukrainian coastone of the main exporters of cereals and cooking oil.
“The subsequent measures taken by Russia…block or seize the ports of the country with warships, destroy grain infrastructure and even take land from farmers and skimming Ukrainian wheat to sell it abroad — are part of a geopolitical battle fshould in parallel with the Kremlin’s military war, according to Western and Ukrainian officials.
“While the invasion united Western allies in support of Ukraine, Russia has used its increased influence over food exports to divide the wider international community and extend its influence over Developing economies in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, divide the world in a way not seen since the Cold War. The Kremlin’s goals, according to Western officials, are to use food concerns as leverage for sanctions relief and ceasefire negotiations, to build influence and trade links with non-Western countries and destroy a major pillar of the Ukrainian economy.
Regarding grain production, Dow Jones writer George Mwangi reported last week that “Morocco’s wheat production is expected to fall by 70% during the June 2022 to May 2023 marketing year from a year earlier due to drought conditions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday.
“Production is estimated at 2.25 million metric tons, versus 7.54 million tons in 2021-2022, the USDA said in its update on cereals and animal feed in Morocco.
Bloomberg writers Jerrold Colten and Antonio Vanuzzo reported today that, “Italy declared a state of emergency in five northern and central regions devastated by a recent Droughtas a severe heat wave is wreaking havoc on agriculture and threatening electricity supplies.
The Bloomberg article stated that “the extreme conditions have led to an estimate 30% drop in seasonal harvestsincluding barley, cereals and rice in the region, according to agricultural group Coldiretti, which estimates the overall drought toll on agriculture at 3 billion euros ($3.1 billion).
And Bloomberg writer Sybilla Gross reported today that “the main growing regions in parts of eastern australia face the prospect of reduced wheat and canola production after another period of torrential rain.”
Additionally, Joey Garrison and Michael Collins reported in today’s USA Today that “on the other side of the world, Russia’s war in Ukraine has [Kansas farmer Clay Schemm] rethinking this year’s harvest, just as the Biden administration encourages American farmers will produce more wheat in response to market disruption caused by the war in Ukraine — one of the world’s largest producers.
“But Schemm said so maybe not realistic for many reasons: growing seasons who are slow to react to the unfolding crisis, federal incentives for double cropping which are unviable in most of his acres and a volatile wheat market. Wheat prices have fluctuated wildly after soaring for weeks following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
More broadly on commodity prices, Ryan Dezember reported on the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal that, “A slide in all kinds of commodity prices—corn, wheatcopper and more – raises hopes that an important source of inflationary pressure may begin to ease.
“Natural gas prices climbed more than 60% before falling back to end the quarter down 3.9%. US crude slid over $120 a barrel to end around $106. Wheat, corn and soy all ended up cheaper than they were at the end of March. Cotton has come undone, losing more than a third of its price since early May. Benchmark building materials prices copper and timber fell 22% and 31%, respectively, as a basket of industrial metals that trade in London suffered their worst quarter since the 2008 financial crisis . »
The Journal article stated that “Improved growth time in the United States, Europe and Australia is raising hopes that bumper harvests can compensate for wheat, corn and vegetable oil stuck in Ukraine since the Russian invasion. Grain and oilseed prices jumped after the incursion but have fallen at or below where they were before the late February attack.