Maize Import and Export: CIS Country Indicators

The largest areas under maize are in Ukraine, which is explained by the most favourable climatic conditions for this crop. According to the 2007 data, the area under maize constituted 2,087,200 ha in Ukraine, 1,564,000 ha in Russia and 106,000 ha in Belarus. Russia and Belarus are demonstrating a trend towards an increase in the area of land under maize: in Russia it has doubled and in Belarus it has increased from 39,000 to 106,000 ha, i.e. more than 2.5 times over, in the past 10 years. The increase in the area of land under this crop is connected with the change in the structure of the grain component of animal feed: maize is a valuable fodder crop and a source of albumen; besides, it is competitive as regards its price.
In Ukraine the area under maize was sharply reduced in 2005 by about 30% due to substantial reserves of the crop thanks to a record harvest in the previous year and a decrease in prices on maize, which made producers start growing other crops, although the interest in maize rose again later on because of export demand and a favourable market situation as regards its prices.
Maize Import
The volume of maize import into Russia constituted 92,400 tons, which was three times less than in the previous year. That was primarily related to the increase in the domestic maize production. In 2005-2006, maize imported into Russia met 6-8% of Russia’s domestic requirements, but in 2007 the import indicator dropped to 1.6%.
Ukraine imports insignificant amounts of maize represented mostly by seeds.
Belarus imports maize actively, from 200,000 to 230,000 tons annually. In 2007, there was a sharp increase in the gross maize harvest, which is likely to continue in future, and this may lead to a certain reduction in the volume of maize import. The main supplier of maize into Belarus is Ukraine, which accounts for more than 95% of its total maize import. Seeds are also imported from Germany, France and Austria.
Non-food grain constitutes a considerable share in the structure of maize import into Russia. In 2005-2006, it was equal to about 90% of total imports, and in 2007 it dropped to 65% against the background of a general decrease in imports. Over 70% of non-food maize constitutes feedstock for the starch-and-treacle industry. It is rather hard to grow a sufficient amount of maize corresponding to the standard requirements of starch and treacle production under Russian climatic conditions, which necessitates its import. The share of the seeding material is rather high as well. In 2007, its share grew to 30%, which is explained by an increase in the area under crop and its domestic production. In the preceding years the volume of seed import into Russia was smaller.
Bread maize imported into Russia is mostly represented by grain for popcorn production. The main exporter of bread maize into Russia is Ukraine (60% of its total imports in 2007, and 79% in 2005 and 2006). Seeds are also imported from Hungary, France and Austria. The main component of the maize import into Ukraine is the seeding material, which constituted more than 95% of the total annual bread maize import.
The cost estimate of imports reflects the dynamics of grain prices that have been steadily growing over the past few years. Another factor influencing the cost estimate of imports is their structure in Ukraine. Despite the small volume of import in kind, its cost estimate is comparable with the cost of imports into Russia and Belarus, which import a substantially larger amount of bread maize in kind.

Maize Export

In 2007, the volume of maize export from Russia constituted 52,100 tons, which was 17,400 tons less than in 2005 despite the growth of the domestic cross maize harvest. This fact is explained by an increase in domestic bread maize consumption.
Ukraine is one of the world’s largest maize exporters. Maize, along with barley and wheat, is one of the main items of cereals export from the country. The reduction in the volume of maize export is primarily explained by export restrictions imposed by the Ukrainian Government. Restrictions were imposed against the background of an increase in grain production in 2007and led to an increase in the grain reserves of suppliers and producers, excess of which can only be exported after the restrictions are lifted.
No bread maize is exported from Belarus.
The main component of the maize export from Russia is bread maize. In 2005, its share constituted 64%, in 2006 it was equal to 69%, and in 2007 it rose to 85.4%. In 2005-2006, approximately 30-35% of the total maize export fell on fodder maize, while in 2007 its share dropped to 13%.
No seeding material is exported from Russia.
The largest share of maize export from Ukraine falls on non-bread maize – over 97% of the total annual maize export. The share of exported bread maize reduced from 3% to 1%. Ukraine also exports maize seeds, which constitute approximately 1% of its total exports.
The dynamics in the export cost estimate reflects changes in grain prices. Despite the reduction in the volume of Ukrainian export in kind by 615,000 tons, the cost estimate of its export increased due to a rise in prices.

Based on the data of Abercade Research Company

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