Record Harvest, Farmland Sales, Bond Sales Jump 39%
By James Brooke
🔵Well-timed rains are pushing this year’s harvest to a record 100 million tons of grains, oilseeds and beans. Twenty years ago, the combined harvest was 9.5 million tons.
🔵 The start of a limited farmland market on July 1 should boost Ukrainian harvest yields, Bloomberg reports in a story: Ukraine will introduce long-awaited land reforms next month just as food prices rise to the highest in almost a decade. Harvest yields for corn, Ukraine’s largest crop, are one third below US levels. Starting July 1, Ukrainian individuals will be able to buy and sell up to 100 hectares a year. Trade by corporations is expected to be allowed in coming years. Public opinion polls indicate low support for farmland sales to foreigners, a step that is to be decided by a referendum after 2024.
🔵 The farmland market is designed to be transparent, Agriculture Minister Roman Leshchenko writes in an Atlantic Council essay: “Land reform can make Ukraine an agricultural superpower.” “Once Ukraine’s land market opens, all transactions will be tracked to record buyers and sellers, along with the price and the source of payment,” the Minister writes. “An open data portal will allow anyone to view detailed information about the ownership and usage of Ukrainian farmland…Anyone will be able to participate in e-auctions, with bidding taking place via the government’s Prozorro digital platform.”
🔵 In the first auction since the central bank decided to keep the prime interest rate unchanged at 7.5%, sales of Ukrainian government bonds jumped by 39% yesterday, to the equivalent of the $416 million, the Finance Ministry reports on Facebook. Cut off rates remained the same: 6 months – 9%; 13 months – 10.99%; 18 months. – 11.3%; 2-year – 12%; 3-year – 12.3%; and 5-year – 12.59%. In the only foreign currency bond offering, $112 million worth of one year dollar denominated bonds sold at last week’s rate: 3.7%.