Pulse weekly outlook: Ukraine’s pulse production waning

File photo of a grain terminal on the Dnieper River in Ukraine. (Konoplytska/iStock/Getty Images)

MarketsFarm — There has been a marked decline in the amount of pulses grown by farmers in Ukraine over the last couple of years, highlighted in an article written for the Global Pulse Confederation by Sergey Feofilov, director general of UkrAgroConsult.

Feofilov noted total pulse production in Ukraine dropped almost 25.9 per cent from 2018 to 2019, falling to 707,200 tonnes. Coupled with that was the planted area, which fell 38.1 per cent to a little under 865,000 acres.

Sharp price increases for seed, plant protection products and fuel, which are largely imported, influenced the declines, he said. Also, the Ukraine hryvnia lost ground to other world currencies (1 hryvnia = 5.3 Canadian cents), which made buying those and other imports more expensive.

Another serious issue was poor exports following 2017’s crop. Feofilov said 37 per cent of the peas were exported that year, which was far below expectations and has essentially turned off farmers.

All of these combined to reduce the profitability of pulses, especially yellow peas, the country’s top pulse crop.

At 570,000 tonnes, yellow peas accounted for more than 80 per cent of pulses grown in Ukraine. Between 2018 and 2019, its production fell almost 26.5 per cent. Furthermore, compared to 2017, production dropped 52 per cent.

A notable exception to Ukraine’s pulse production has been dry beans, which were down by only 2.7 per cent from 2018 to 2019. Also, the 69,300 tonnes grown in 2019 exceeded the 64,400 tonnes produced in 2017.

One saving grace for Ukraine pulses, according to Feofilov, has been the country’s export agreement with the European Union. Between 2018 and 2019, exports to the EU jumped from 37 to 58 per cent.

Also, exports to India improved from 11 to 15 per cent. Nevertheless, Ukraine’s share of global pulse production slipped from six to four per cent during the same time frame.

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