TOP 10 Soybeans Exporters from Ukraine in 2018

Ukrainian companies supply more than 2 mmt of soybeans to foreign markets annually since 2015. The year 2018 was no exception. Soybean exporters completed the year the same way wheat exporters did — the third largest shipment volume ever. The result of 2018 is 2,34 mmt (by the data of the State Statistics Service of Ukraine). Only the results of the previous two years of 2,9 mmt and 2,7 mmt were better.

Notably, soybeans export in 2018 decreased by 18.5% from 2017 against the backdrop of production volumes growth. Last year, according to the State Statistics Service, Ukrainian agrarians harvested a record soybean crop of 4,46 mmt (including private households), an increase from 2017 stood at 14.4%. However, the contribution of the population to the gross yield is scanty — less than 30 thousand tons. The rest was produced by enterprises.

In 2018, Ukrainian companies had preconditions for setting a record of soybean supplies to the foreign market. The world market of soybeans is moving forward. According to the USDA April report, in recent years both the production and export of soybeans has been improving. According to the USDA forecast for 2018/19 (the base of which is the 2018 harvest), world soybean production will reach 360,6 mmt thus increasing by 5.5%, and world exports — 154 mmt revising upward by 0.9%. For comparison: in 2014/15, deliveries of soybeans to the world market barely exceeded 126 million tons, and in 2005/06 they even failed to reach 64 million tons.

None could have forgotten the year 2018, which was marked by the epic of cancelling-restoring of VAT refunds on oilseed exports. Turbulent events around the non-refundable VAT lasted for six months, which apparently became the principal reason for the decrease in foreign trade turnover. By the way, the 2018 volume of soybeans processing in Ukraine increased by almost 110 thousand tons, while export volumes reduced by slightly over 50 thousand tons. Yet it is obviously not enough for a firm conclusion about the intensification of soybean processing since the yield increase in the past year amounted to c.550 thousand tons. The fact remains — exports fell, whereas processing increased.

Soybean production in Ukraine (click for full resolution)

In the big three of oilseeds — sunflower, soybeans, rapeseed, — exporters of soybeans from Ukraine are in the "golden middle" both in the Ukrainian and in the world market. In 2018, Ukrainian companies processed 71.6% of sunflower seeds according to the State Statistics Service. Only 0.14% of the total yield of sunflower seeds was exported. As for rapeseed, the situation is quite the opposite as rapeseed oil and meal/cake are produced in Ukraine in small volumes. In 2018, the level of rapeseed processing was a mere 8.1%, and the export level made up 88.7%.

As regards soybeans, last year Ukrainian companies processed 987 thousand tons of the crop or 22.1% of the total yield. The share of exports in the total turnover of soybeans was 52.5%.

By and large, soybean remains an export-oriented crop. The domestic utilization of soybeans in Ukraine is 3-3.5x less than the harvested volume. According to, the last two seasons 2017/2018 and 2018/2019, this indicator stands at c.1,3 mmt. Therefore, it is not surprising that Ukraine’s position in the world market is stronger in soybean exports rather than in its production.

Ukraine ranks eighth in the world in terms of soybean production and holds the sixth position among global exporters. And, apparently, the country will preserve its positions in the foreseeable future. To join the world TOP-5, Ukrainian soybean exporters need to intensify trade by almost twice to at least to 5,5 mmt, which is hardly possible in the coming years. On the other hand, Ukraine has no closest rivals.

Its closest competitor, Uruguay, exports 1,9 mmt of soybeans and less. In the meantime, the five largest exporters of soybeans are Brazil, the USA, Argentina, Paraguay and Canada. At the same time, Brazil and the United States account for almost 40% of world soybean exports, while the remaining three countries supply the world market with 5-6 mmt each.

Key world soybean producers and importers/exporters (click for full resolution)

The Ukrainian soybean deliveries saw some changes in the export geography. The main one is the threefold increase in the share of CIS countries from 5.3% to 15.8%. Belarus supported this increase where Ukrainian companies exported 355 thousand tons of soybeans. Although it was not much a surprise. The Russian group of companies Sodrugestvo owns processing plants in Belarus oriented towards Ukrainian soy.

Otherwise, the trends of the last three years have continued. Asia remains the main export destination for soybean exporters from Ukraine: Turkey (853,000 tons in 2018), Iran (201,000 tons) and Lebanon (126,000 tons). The second place is occupied by Africa, represented mainly by Egypt (126 thousand tons). Europe ranks third, although it is a promising region for Ukrainian exporters: the EU is one of the world's largest soybean importers (13-16 mmt), while it is second only to China in terms of imports.

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However, in 2018, soybean exports to Europe dropped significantly from 818,000 tons to 512,000 tons. There are three key importers of Ukrainian beans in the EU: Italy, Greece and Spain. Although in 2018, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Hungary also imported an agreeable volume. In total, 92% of soybeans are exported to the 12 above-mentioned countries (and more than 76% to six countries).

Among other features of the top-2018 are also the enlargement of the shares of almost all its regular participants (up to 11-14% by the leading three companies), the abundance of "new names" — half of the companies listed in the top-ten exporters were not mentioned earlier, as well as the absence of the company NIBULON in the top, which in previous years was among the leaders with more than 150 thousand tons.

The rating is compiled according to the data of agents in domestic ports at the time when export volumes amounted to 1,7 mmt, but in principle, this does not change the picture due to the uniformity of the top.

Valentin Horoshun,

1. Bunge

Market share, %: 13.7

Export volume of soybean in 2018, thou. tons: 238

The company Suntrade, a U.S. based Bunge's parent-subsidiary in Ukraine, is not for the first time the leader of the soybean exporters rating, and it is natural. Bunge is the world's largest supplier/exporter of soybeans. And soybean production together with processing are the key areas of the company's activity. As of 2017, according to the company's data, it produced and exported about 30 mmt of oilseeds (soybean, sunflower and rapeseed).

According to Bunge's 2018 report, last year the company produced 146 mmt of crop, 3,5 mmt more from a year earlier. Bunge's agribusiness turnover in 2018 exceeded USD 32.2 billion (a 1.6% increase), and gross profit from agribusiness increased by almost 54% — from USD 933 million to USD 1,4 billion.

Soybean export by Suntrade, for obvious reasons, is much lower. For example, in 2012, it ranked first in the rating of exporters with an indicator of 177 thousand tons. The company exported comparable volumes of soybeans in the following years. In particular, deliveries in 2016/17 stood at 158 thousand tons (the second place in the top ten).

The share of soybeans in Suntrade's total crop exports is still insignificant. In 2018, the company exported more than 3,3 mmt of corn, wheat, barley, soybeans and rapeseed. At the same time, soybean accounted for 7% of the total volume of supplies.

In value terms (taking into account the average export prices provided by the State Statistics Service), Suntrade exported soybeans worth USD 84,5 million last year.

2. ADM

Market share, %: 11.3

Export volume of soybean in 2018, thou. tons: 220

For ADM Trading Ukraine, a subsidiary of Archer Daniels Midland Company, the second place in the rating of soybean exporters is a very modest result. Two years ago, following the results of 2016/17, ADM headed the national top with 276 thousand tons. However, despite the decrease in shipment, the company's share in the total volume of soybean supplies still increased by almost 2% — from 9.5% to 11.3%.

In value terms (taking into account the average export prices provided by the State Statistics Service), the company exported soybeans worth USD 78,1 million.

3. Agroprosperis

Market share, %: 11.3

Export volume of soybean in 2018, thou. tons: 197

At the end of 2018, the company entered two top-ten exporters of soybeans and corn. In total, the holding's export turnover in the good harvest seasons exceeds 2,5 mmt.

Since the beginning of 2018/2019, Agroprosperis grain elevators have already shipped 1,5 mmt of grains and oilseeds, which is a record turnover for the company.

Agroprosperis has never been presented in soybean exporters ratings before.

4. Sodrugestvo

Market share, %: 5.8

Export volume of soybean in 2018, thou. tons: 100.7

The Agro-industrial company Sodrugestvo Ukraine has been working in the domestic market for 7 years. The group has been developing its soybean business since 2004.

Sodrugestvo does not have a land bank in Belarus or Ukraine. Therefore, the oil-crushing plant in Belarus is initially focusing on Ukrainian and Russian raw materials. In 2018, the volume of Ukrainian soybean exports to Belarus more than doubled.

5. Glencore

Market share, %: 5.6

Export volume of soybean in 2018, thou. tons: 97.1

Glencore Agriculture Ukraine is a subsidiary of Glencore. The 2016/17 season Glencore Agriculture Ukraine finished in the tenth position with 42 thousand tons. And now the company has again increased the volume of soybean supplies to the foreign market.

However, the share of soybeans in the total Glencore's export of cereals and oilseeds is still much lower than the share of other crops — only 4.5%. In value terms (taking into account the average export prices provided by the State Statistics Service), it is USD 34,5 million.


Market share, %: 5.4

Export volume of soybean in 2018, thou. tons: 93.9

For the State Food and Grain Corporation of Ukraine (SFGCU), the only representative of the public sector in the top soybean exporters, the soybean segment turned out to be an "island of stability" in 2018. Three years ago, in 2016/17, the state corporation supplied 92 thousand tons of soybeans to the foreign market. According to the results of 2018 — only 2 thousand tons more. At the same time, the position of SFGCU in the top ten exporters of soybeans has not changed for three years: 6th place.

The share of the corporation in the total volume of external supplies of soybeans increased significantly from 3.2% in 2016/17 to 5.4% in 2018.

7. Pology Oil Extraction Plant

Market share, %: 3.9

Export volume of soybean in 2018, thou. tons: 68.3

Pology OEP is one of the largest multi-commodity processing companies in Ukraine. In 2017, the plant processed about 110 thousand tons of soybeans and produced 19.5 thousand tons of soybean oil.

The company's capacity allows it to process twice as much soybean — up to 600 tons per day, i.e. more than 200 thousand tons per year with continuous operation.

8. Soufflet

Market share, %: 3.9

Export volume of soybean in 2018, thou. tons: 68.3

The French holding Groupe Soufflet has been working in the Ukrainian market since 2004. In 2007, the agrarian division of the holding Soufflet Agriculture established the company Soufflet Agro Ukraine. Export of grain and oilseeds is one of the activities of the Ukrainian subsidiary of Soufflet Agriculture. Export turnover of Soufflet Agro Ukraine is about 500 thousand tons.

9. Cargill

Market share, %: 3.45

Export volume of soybean in 2018, thou. tons: 60

Soybeans have never been a priority in the company's export structure. Corn, wheat and rapeseed are the main export crops for Cargill. At the end of 2018, the company was presented in three ratings — exporters of wheat, rapeseed and soybeans. However, the share of soybeans in the total export volume of these three crops, 2 million tons, accounts for only 3%. In value terms (taking into account the average export prices provided by the State Statistics Service), the deliveries are worth USD 21.3 million.

In 2016/17, the share of Cargill in the total supply of soybeans was 2.3%, now it is almost 3.5%.

10. Prometey

Market share, %: 3.3

Export volume of soybean in 2018, thou. tons: 56.6

Prometey Group of Companies has been working in the Ukrainian agricultural market for over 20 years. Currently, it is one of the largest exporters of agricultural products.

In 2018, Prometey's turnover amounted to 1 mmt (USD 200 million in value terms), net profit — about USD 12 million. By the international audit, the value of the group of companies is USD 187 million, and loan portfolio on short-term loans — USD 25 million.

Prometey is for the first time in the top ten soybean exporters of Y2018.

Geography of export: Israel, Sri Lanka.

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