Ukraine is countering a sharp fall in wheat shipments to India by delivering record amounts to Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia. Sales to India, which was the source of the largest demand for Ukrainian wheat in 2016-2017 have plunged thus far in 2018. According to Bloomberg, the demand from India has become more self-reliant as a result of a bounceback in its production, UNIAN reports.
“This is a real change,” Sergey Feofilov, the CEO of Kyiv-based UkrAgroConsult said.
“With India starting to rely on its domestic harvest, it is natural that Ukrainian traders are seeking new markets and, fortunately, Indonesia does need Ukrainian wheat nowadays.”
Ukraine has been struggling to manage the drop in demand from India, as well as increasing competition from Russia, which has been pumping cheap grain from a bumper onto international markets. For example, Russia has dominated recent tenders in Egypt, the largest wheat buyer in the world. Indonesia, which is ranked second in the list of the worldwide wheat buyers, imported 1.8 million metric tons of Ukrainian wheat in the first eleven months of 2017. This figure is 11% higher than it was for the entire last season, according to the statistics compiled by UkrAgroConsult.
Such increased demand for wheat has made Indonesia the leading buyer of Ukrainian crop, accounting for 16% of total exports. On the other hand, India makes up only 4% of Ukraine’s total exports, indicating a dramatic fall from 17% in the entire previous season.
“We expect this record-breaking pace to go on for another few months,” Feofilov stated. The Philippines has also purchased more than previously expected, with figures highest in close to a decade.
Altogether, Ukraine has sold an impressive 11.3 million tons to overseas nations in the eleven months of 2017 of an estimated total of 16.5 million tons for the season.