While analyzing the customs statistics figures, it should be noticed that Ukraine continues gradually increasing its import volumes of corn seeds. Only in 2017, the purchased volumes of seed material increased by 12%, and reached the highest figures for three recent years. Despite development of the domestic seeds production industry, Ukraine purchases at least 25% of corn seeds on foreign markets.
From year to year, the growing interest of Ukrainian agrarians in corn production as the export-oriented crop remains rather high. Taking into account the role and relevance of corn and the profitability of its production, agrarians continue gradually increasing the planted areas, and in turn it has an impact on the market of seeds. According to the official statistics figures, in 2017 corn planted areas in Ukraine totaled 4.5 mln ha, as opposed to 4.1 mln ha in 2015.
Also, the share of corn seeds of foreign selection, grown in Ukraine, continues constantly increasing due to consolidation of the leading global manufacturers. At the same time, they often import parent components for growing and production of hybrids.
"As of corn seeds, foreign selection seeds continued taking the leading positions, and will take the positions in the future. The trend mainly developed due to high potential of hybrids productivity (yield), as well as its moisture-yielding ability, which affects grain drying and works as one of the factors of profitability in corn production. We should say that foreign selection provides faster and better results on introduction of new hybrids into the market, adapted to various extreme factors of cultivation in the conditions of rapid climatic changes. The offers from foreign companies are more dynamic and interesting for commodity producers. The companies approach to succeed not only with climate changes, but also changes of the buying preferences", - commented the Executive Director at the Seed Association of Ukraine, Suzanne Grigorenko.
In addition, Ukraine continues increasing the number of new, more productive corn varieties, registered in the country, at the expense of foreign companies, which also affects the rates of imported seeds purchases. According to the Association figures, the ratio of seed varieties of foreign and domestic selection totals nearly 70/30. At the same time, every year the share of Ukrainian crop breeders continues gradually decreasing.
As a result, for three recent seasons the imports of corn seeds gradually increased. So, in 2017 Ukraine imported 35 thsd tonnes of the reporting seeds, up 12% compared with 2016. Therefore, in 2017 Ukrainian companies (distributors) purchased record volumes of corn seeds on foreign markets. In particular, the import rates increased in the second half of 2017. If in July-December of 2016 the purchasing volumes of corn seeds totaled 5.5 thsd tonnes, then in the same period of 2017 the figure rose to 12 thsd tonnes.
It is worth noting that companies-suppliers preferred delivering the seed material after disinfectants treatment. According to the official statistics figures, 74% of the imported volumes of corn seeds were treated at the plants of companies-producers. The seeds were mainly treated with fungicidal activity products, because at early stages the crops usually have high susceptibility to diseases.
In 2017, the TOP-5 in the segment of imported corn seeds included such varieties as DKS3939, R9241, DKS3623, DKS4608, Adevey, which share in the general structure totaled 26%, or 9.1 thsd tonnes.
In 2017, the European Union countries were the main exporters of corn seeds to Ukraine: Hungary, Romania, France, etc. They covered 25%, 24% and 15% of the seeds supplies, respectively.
It is worth noting that in 2017, Hungary became the country-leader, and increased the supplies to Ukraine in 1.5 times, while in 2016 it took the 3rd position only. At the same time, Romania, France and Serbia lost its positions on the corn seeds market of Ukraine. So, Romania reduced the supplies by 22%, France - down 12%, and Serbia - down 11%.
In 2017, the TOP-5 of corn seeds producers which products were delivered to Ukraine, included the following companies: Limagrain Europe SA, Monsanto SAS, Pioneer Hi-Bred Seeds Agro SRL, Rag Semences and SAS Syngenta (the companies are listed alphabetically). It should be noted that the reporting companies produce more than 80% of the general volumes of imported corn seeds.
Alexandrina Ovdienko, Maria Lakeyeva, APK-Inform Agency