Due to insufficient supplies of feed components this season in Belarus, the country has become Ukraine’s top importer of soybean meal and 2nd highest importer of sunflower meal, according to Ukraine’s analytical agency UkrAgroConsultant.
Belarus imported 53% of Ukraine’s soybean meal and 16% of its sunflower meal.
As a result of unfavourable weather conditions last winter Belarus faced serious losses in its winter rapeseed crop and consequently a decrease in production. According to preliminary estimates, in the 2015/2016 season rapeseed gross crop dropped to the minimum since the 2011/12 season, says the report.
Belarus needs to satisfy the needs of the constantly growing livestock sector (primarily poultry). Cultivating other oil crops (apart from Rapeseed) is problematic with Belarusian climate conditions.
Soybean meal shipments from Ukraine to Belarus are just picking up pace. Sunflower meal has, on the other hand, been successfully exported for several years, the report adds. But with the crop failure in 2015 and the growing domestic consumption of meal, it is expected that Belarus will also increase imports of Ukrainian sunflower meal.
The prospects of the next rapeseed season are not optimistic, with winter rapeseed plantings for the 2016/17 crop estimated to decrease. Even if there are zero losses during winter and high productivity, by Belarusian standards, gross crop cannot compensate growing needs from feed mill industry, and this means that Belarusian demand for Ukrainian meals will remain strong, explained experts of UkrAgroConsultant.