Higher wheat price and freight depressed flour export from Ukraine in 2020/21: opinion

Ukraine's leading wheat flour exporters reduced shipment volumes in the 2020/21 season following the rising wheat prices and cost of both container and bulk freight, suggests the head of the Association Millers of Ukraine Rodion Rybchinsky, the APK-Inform consultancy writes.

"Naturally, it is a different story if we are talking about inland transportation of flour between Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan or Turkey, Iraq and Syria or Germany-EU. But we trade by sea (except for Moldova), and the price of freight is relevant for us, and the competition among flour traders by sea is higher to begin with," he stresses.

Besides, two players have emerged among the exporters in the market following Turkey's path, that is wheat imports-wheat processing-flour exports.

"It is Uzbekistan and one of the stable buyers of Ukrainian wheat, Egypt. Another market trend is the growth of global trade in ready-to-eat flour mixes. And here I would like to note that Ukrainian companies, in particular, KPF Roma, are successfully moving in this direction," adds Rodion Rybchinsky.

As reported, the UAE, Moldova, Palestine and Israel remain the key importers of Ukrainian flour. These are all well-developed market relations. In addition, some new customers come. The expert notes the futility of talking about expanding the customer base and opening new markets in the current environment.

In 2020/21, flour export from Ukraine collapsed to a 10-season low.

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