Ukraine’s largest poultry producer MHP has restarted exports and is ready to begin a large-scale sowing campaign, a potential sign of optimism for the region’s commodities trade as Russia’s invasion continues to disrupt flows.
The war is constraining crucial supplies of agricultural commodities that Ukraine sends to world markets, from grains to poultry, as the nation’s ports shuttered and vessels have avoided the region.
Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, MHP - which also grows corn, sunflower, wheat and rapeseed - generated about 60% of its $1.9bn (€1.7bn) annual revenue from exports.
That share dropped to almost zero as the conflict cut the company off from its usual seaborne shipment routes, forcing it to seek alternatives.
“We are considering exporting by railways, but it is difficult because of the differences in infrastructure between the Ukrainian railways and the European railways,” MHP chief financial officer Viktoria Kapelyushnaya said in an interview.
The conflict has also blocked MHP from accessing credit lines. It’s been in talks to extend $126m in short-term financing facilities that have been maturing.
“The majority has already been agreed to be extended,” Ms Kapelyushnaya said.
“It’s very important to preserve the sustainability of the business,” she said.