ccording to APK-Inform estimations, in October-December of 2019/20 MY Ukraine supplied more than 2.8 mln tonnes of corn to the MENA countries, an increase of 2.6 times compared with the same figures last season (less than 1.1 mln tonnes). At the same time, in the reporting period Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Libya and Iran formed the TOP-5 of importers of the Ukrainian grain in the region, which together covered nearly 87% of the general volume of supplies.
For 3 reporting months, Egypt became the leader of corn purchases, and imported more than 1.1 mln tonnes of the Ukrainian grain, up 3.7 times compared with the same period last season. In October-December of 2019/20 MY, Turkey more significantly increased the imports (up 3.9 times), and purchased more than 541 thsd tonnes of Ukrainian corn. During the reporting period, Iran purchased nearly 237 thsd tonnes of Ukrainian corn, while during the same period of 2018/19 MY the country did not make such purchases at all.
It should be noted that traditionally, the Ukrainian grain formed the significant share of corn imports to the countries. So, for three months only of 2019/20 MY Ukraine already provided 40% of the expected annual volumes of corn imports by Libya, 21% of Turkish imports, and 17% of Israeli imports. Egypt already purchased nearly 11% of the expected supplies in the current season, while Iran — 2% only.
According to analysts of APK-Inform Agency, in terms of the current escalation of tensions around Iran, the activation of Ukrainian corn supplies to the country, which started since the beginning of 2019/20 MY, will possibly demonstrate the short-term features. Taking into account the traditionally low share of Ukrainian corn in the import structure by Iran, and the growth of purchases by other countries of the region, the supplies from Ukraine will refocus to Egypt, Israel and Turkey.