Ukraine is set to sign an unusual loan-for-crops contract with China that will see Kiev receive $3bn in credit lines in exchange for supplies of corn, or maize, a commodity that Beijing has started to import in large quantities.
The deal expands into food the scheme that Beijing has used to secure energy supplies through so-called oil-for-loans deals with countries such as Venezuela. It has been reached at a time of concern about global food security.
Mykola Prysyazhnyuk, Ukraine agriculture minister, said the deal with the Export-Import Bank of China would be signed in mid-October.
“China is asking for about 3m tonnes of corn each year?.?.?.?to be supplied at market prices that are set at the time of export,” Mr Prysyazhnyuk told the Financial Times. The deal between Kiev and Beijing comes as China has rapidly become the world’s fifth largest importer of corn. The country will buy overseas about 8.3m tonnes of the commodity between 2011 and 2013, or as much as it imported in the previous 15 years combined, according to estimates from the US Department of Agriculture.
Corn is a key feedmeal to fatten cows, sheep and pigs as consumption of meat in China continues to grow, analysts said. “This market is important and attractive for us. We have not yet exported crop there,” Mr Prysyazhnyuk said.
Ukraine, already one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat and corn, is betting that a new relationship with China will open up access to a huge market, boosting agriculture investment.
乌克兰农业部长米科拉?普雷西亚日纽克(Mykola Prysyazhnyuk)称，与中国进出口银行(Export-Import Bank of China)达成的这笔交易将于10月中旬签署。