The main importers of Ukrainian grain in 2021: China, Egypt, Turkey

Ukraine’s revenue from export of grain crops in 2021 amounted to $12.3 billion, the largest trading partners were China, which imported $2.55 billion, as well as Egypt ($1.39 billion) and Turkey ($0.92 billion), the Institute of Agrarian Economics (IAE).

2021 was characterized by the further strengthening of the position of China, which in 2020 for the first time took the top among 10 largest importers of Ukrainian grain. In four years, starting from 2018, this country has increased its grain purchases from Ukraine almost five times, to $2.55 billion. At the same time, China’s share in the value of domestic grain exports increased from 19.7% in 2020 to 20.7% in 2021.

Bohdan Dukhnitsky, expert of IAE

According to the report of IAE, last year Egypt increased imports of Ukrainian grains by 24%, from $1.12 billion to $1.37 billion, but its share of their total exports decreased from 11.9% to 11.2%.

Turkey, which in 2020 ranked only sixth in the top 10, moved up to the third spot last year, increasing the value of purchases of Ukrainian grain to $0.92 billion. In addition, in 2021, there were changes in the top 10 largest buyers of grain from Ukraine: Iran and Pakistan pushed South Korea and Bangladesh out of the top 10.

Bohdan Dukhnitsky

Other major grain importers from Ukraine were:

  • Indonesia with $750 million,
  • Spain with $645 million,
  • the Netherlands with $552 million,
  • Iran with $533 million,
  • Pakistan with $355 million,
  • Libya with $342 million
  • Tunisia with $306 million.

The IAE said that in total, these 10 countries had dominated in the value of all grain purchases in Ukraine in 2021 (their share was more than two thirds).

As reported, since the beginning of 2021/22 (July-June) and as of February 2, Ukraine exported 38.63 million tonnes of grain and leguminous crops (31.6% more compared to the same date of the previous year), composed by:

  • 17.08 million tonnes of wheat (30.4% more),
  • 15.64 million tonnes of corn (32.6% more),
  • 5.48 million tonnes of barley (38.7% more),
  • 0.16 million tons rye (92 times more),
  • 63,800 tonnes of flour (27.0% less).

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