Agricultural Markets in Russia and Ukraine

Russia and Ukraine are significant producers and exporters of several commodities including wheat, corn, sunflower oil, and fertilizer. Production or marketing developments in these countries have the potential to impact global agricultural markets, including the U.S. Accordingly, ERS’ Outlook and Trade research programs closely monitor agricultural markets in Russia and Ukraine as part of the ERS mission to inform and enhance public and private decision making. The following page provides a summary of key agricultural markets and links to selected ERS analyses of agricultural production, trade, and policy in Russia and Ukraine.

Ukraine and Russia export agricultural and chemical products to many trading partners around the globe. Ukraine’s corn exports are concentrated—with more than one-third destined for China. Russia is a leading exporter of wheat. In 2020/21, the country supplied numerous markets with Egypt and Turkey representing approximately 40 percent of wheat export sales.  

Recent Charts of Note

Related ERS Reports and Data

  • Feed Outlook: December 2022: (See page 6): Reduced Prospects for Global Coarse Grain Production Are Driven by Lowered Corn Production: “Ukraine’s corn production is projected down 4.5 million tons, driven by both lower projected harvested area and yield. The corn harvest is significantly delayed, with 60 percent harvested as of December 2nd, while the historical average is about 90 percent completed by this time in the year. Harvest in some of the major-producing corn areas in Ukraine have been delayed due to the wettest autumn on record. Exacerbating the effect of unfavorable weather, the war with Russia pushed Ukrainian transportation and fuel costs up, increased the amount of lost or damaged machinery, and limited access to traditional storage and trade routes.”
  • Wheat Outlook: December 2022: (See page 9): Black Sea Grain Initiative Extended, Boosts Global Exports: “The Black Sea Grain Initiative was extended on November 17 continuing to allow Ukraine to export out of 3 of their seaports for another 120 days. Since the Initiative deal began in August, they have been able to export about 6.0 MMT of wheat with more than 80 percent flowing through the ports. Based on this pace, Ukraine exports are raised 1.5 MMT to 12.5 MMT.”
  • Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade: November 2022 (See page 3): Economic Outlook: “The global economic outlook for calendar year (CY) 2023 remains uncertain due to inflation, changing monetary policy conditions, and trade disruptions caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Previous growth projections are moderated due to tempered economic growth in Europe and North America.”
  • Feed Outlook: September 2022: (See page 14): International Outlook: “The largest change to 2022/23 foreign corn use is for Ukraine, up 1.0 million for feed and residual use to reach 11.5 million, which is more than double the pre-war 5-year average. The increase in grain production is only partly expected to boost the country’s exports. A significant part of the Ukrainian output is not going to be exported or used at any future time as some supplies are destroyed by the war or have become unfit to use. Rather, larger output is expected to boost the already massive (for this export-oriented country with lackluster livestock development) residual part of the feed category.
  • Wheat Outlook: September 2022: (See page 6): Production in Black Sea Countries is Forecasted Higher: Global wheat production in 2022/23 is revised up 4.3 million metric tons (MMT) to 783.9 as Russia and Ukraine are both revised higher. Production in Russia is forecast at a record 91.0 MMT as winter wheat harvest results continue to exceed expectations. Winter wheat is forecast at a record 68.0 MMT while spring wheat is a near-record 23.0 MMT. While 2022/23 production for Ukraine has been impacted by the ongoing war, wheat production is revised up 1.0 MMT to 20.5 MMT based on recent harvest results, but still down 38 percent from its record production in 2021/22.
  • Feed Outlook: August 2022: (See page 10): International Outlook: “The Russian military invasion of Ukraine has made all forecasts of Ukrainian grain output highly tentative. However, it is expected that, as usual, crop yields will correlate with weather conditions, while final output will hang on war developments (in particular, on the area that Ukrainian farmers will be able to harvest). Currently, Russian-occupied territories in the east and south of Ukraine produce a comparatively small share of the country’s corn. Barley production in Ukraine is forecast up 0.7 million tons, with the higher yield prospects based on harvest reports. While not a record barley yield, it would be the third highest for Ukraine on record.”
  • Feed Outlook: July 2022: (See page 14): International Outlook: “Corn exports are projected 1.0 million tons higher for Ukraine this month to reach 24.0 million. The Russian blockade of the Ukrainian Black Sea ports undermined Ukrainian export prospects—allowing Ukraine to export grain via rail, trucks, and barges only. However, Ukraine is trying to make the best out of the current situation by expanding to some degree (according to the recent data and reports) the volume of exported grain that turned out to be higher than anticipated earlier in both May and June.”
  • Oil Crop Outlook: July 2022: (See page 11): Global Sunflowerseed Supply is on the Rise: “The global sunflower trade for 2021/22 is revised up this month by 0.66 million metric tons to 3.9 million as shipments from Ukraine are better than expected. Ukraine’s sunflowerseed export volume is expected to reach 1.6 million metric tons this year. However, in 2022/23 marketing year, Ukraine’s export volume is projected to decrease to 0.75 million metric tons. The global sunflowerseed output for 2022/23 increased this month by 1.16 million metric tons to 50.38 million due to the higher production in Russia and the United States. In Russia, farmers planted more sunflowerseed than anticipated. Therefore, with the normal weather, the sunflowerseed production in Russia increased by 1 million metric tons this month and is projected to reach 15.5 million.”
  • Wheat Outlook: July 2022 (See page 11): International Outlook: “Based on the latest harvested estimates from Ukraine’s Ministry of Agriculture, Ukraine’s area harvested is projected to decline 0.6 million hectares to 5.3 million as Russian forces continue to occupy some oblasts with the ongoing conflict. Despite a slight increase in yield, production is still projected at the lowest in 10 years (19.5 million MT). Russian production is revised up to 81.5 million MT as the spring wheat harvested area is projected up 0.3 million hectares from the last estimate.”
  • Feed Outlook: June 2022: (See page 14): International Outlook: “Corn production in Ukraine is projected 5.5 million tons higher this month, to reach 25.0 million. The increase is fully driven by higher reported corn area that exceeds previous expectations. The data from the Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture suggest that farmers planted larger-than expected areas for corn, which is the most input intensive among the grain crops, despite the shortage of fuel and other inputs. A possible explanation is that farmers held essential inputs acquired before the Russian military invasion and went along with corn planting—discounting or were ostensibly unconcerned with probable future scarcity of diesel for harvesting, overflowing grain stocks, and current limitations for exporting grain from the country.”
  • Oil Crop Outlook: June 2022: (See page 6): World Sunflowerseed Markets Adjust to Ukrainian Dynamics: “Continued conflict between Russia and Ukraine has impacted the ability for crushing facilities to process sunflowerseed in Ukraine. As a result, the 2021/22 sunflowerseed crush forecast is reduced 1.5 million metric tons from last month’s forecast to 10.5 million. In response to limitations on crush, Ukraine has adjusted by exporting larger quantities of sunflowerseed than previously expected. Consequently, the 2021/22 Ukrainian sunflowerseed export forecast is raised by 650,000 metric tons to 1 million with the European Union expected to receive much of this increase.”
  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: June 2022 (See page 26): Honey Imports Surged to Meet U.S. Demand: “The fifth largest supplier was either Ukraine or Canada; in the last two years, it was the former (figure 20). As with its major agricultural products, such as wheat and oilseeds, Ukraine’s honey production and exports may likely be reduced due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.”
  • Oil Crops Outlook: May 2022: (See page 9): World Rapeseed Production Contributes To Increase in the Oils Supply: "Respectively, 2022/23 Russian and Ukrainian rapeseed production is forecasted at 2.8 and 3.2 million metric tons, respectively. With a higher Russian crop, their crush is forecasted to increase to a record level of 2.35 million metric tons. In contrast, Ukraine traditionally exports most of its rapeseed crop (to the EU) which is forecast at 2.75 million metric tons."
  • Wheat Outlook: May 2022: (See page 11): International Outlook: "The Russia-Ukraine war has increased the risk surrounding the harvest of the winter wheat, resulting in higher abandonment expected in conflict areas (area harvested projected down 1.6 million hectares from 2021/22 to 5.9 million)."
  • Feed Outlook: May 2022: (See page 15) International Outlook: "World coarse grain production in 2022/23 is forecast down 22.5 million tons (1.5 percent) from the previous year to 1,475.9 million. Much of the change is attributed to a decline in U.S. intended planting, as reported in the March 31 Prospective Plantings report—exacerbated by poor planting conditions, and the drastic war-induced decline in Ukraine that is expected to see a 31-percent reduction in its coarse grain area."
  • Oil Crops Outlook: April 2022: Special Article (See page 5): Sunflower Oil and Its Contribution to the Global Vegetable Oil Market: "The events in Ukraine escalated an already tight vegetable oil market. Global vegetable oil prices skyrocketed in the last 5 weeks to record levels, further escalating inflation and growing concern for food supplies in many countries. The conflict between Ukraine and Russia has significantly increased the uncertainty of the agricultural supply and demand conditions in the region and globally."
  • Wheat Outlook: April 2022: (See page 3): International Outlook: "As the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues, wheat prices remain elevated resulting in lower imports for 2021/22 as countries find a balance between rationing demand and tightening their stocks.
  • Feed Outlook: March 2022: Russian Incursion into Ukraine Disrupts Global Grain Markets: “Russia’s recent military action in Ukraine significantly increased the uncertainty of agricultural supply and demand conditions in the region and globally. The March World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report represents an initial assessment of the short-term impacts, as a result of this action.”
  • Wheat Outlook: March 2022: (See page 3) U.S. Wheat Prices Surging: “Wheat prices are surging globally in the wake of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Prior to this development, prices were already elevated, influenced by relatively tight supplies in key exporting countries.”

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