Ukraine farming issues could be positive for North American farmers

Feb 11, 2015

Eastern-European country may have to increase imports

By Diego Flammini,

As access to fertilizer, seeds and other agriculture supplies for farmers in Ukraine seems to diminish because of political strife, the country may be forced to look elsewhere to feed the citizens.

If that’s the case, it could be good news for Canada and the United States.

Statistics Canada reported over $209 million in exports to the Ukraine in 2013. The top exports from the agri-food sector were, in order, frozen pork products, dog and cat food, soybean seeds and live cattle.

Soybeans are largely grown in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island. Ontario leads the way with over 3 million metric tonnes of soybeans produced in 2013, followed by Manitoba with just over 1 million metric tonnes.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) just released the February World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report and it showed soybean ending stocks are projected to be down 25 million bushels and selling from $9.45 to $10.95 per bushel. If things don’t improve in the Ukraine, the soybean market could see them as a large export partner.

As far as the United States goes, they exported $135 million of agriculture products to Ukraine in 2012. The top products were poultry meat, planting seeds and egg-related products.

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