Farm operator AgroGeneration revealed that it had lost nearly half its land to the Ukraine war, of which it is on the “frontline”, seeing many of its fields turned into battlegrounds, and having machinery and its headquarters shelled.
The group, based in eastern Ukraine, said that it had lost nearly half of its 60,000-hectare portfolio to the Russian invasion, besides 40% of its vehicle fleet and an estimated $3.4m in crop inventory.
About 12,000 hectares of land were now “located in territories not controlled by Ukraine”, with about a further 16,000 hectares “located in the zone of intense military activities, affected by regular air raids, artillery and rocket attacks”.
“Intense military activities are held…. where AgroGeneration’s assets are located,” the company said, revealing photographs of its fields pockmarked by shell craters, some “several” metres deep.
AgroGeneration added that about 40% of its machinery and buildings was either damaged by air raids, artillery or rocket attacks, or in territory held by Russians, and at risk of looting.
“The management of the company is already aware about the facts of stolen machinery and equipment by Russian troops, which was moved from temporarily occupied territory in Ukraine to Russian Federation.”
The group’s headquarters in Kharkiv had been hit by an explosion, with “continuous shelling” in the city centre making it “impossible” to return to the building.
And there was a risk yet even to much of the 30,000 hectares of crop still in the group’s hands, given the proximity of the fighting.
“It should be noted that out of this area almost 18,000 hectares are located only 10-30 km away from the intense military activities zone, thus in case of frontline movement by 15-30 km the risk of inability to harvest such lands or their burning / damages is very high.”
‘Crop prices significantly lower’
As an extra setback, the group revealed a sharp deterioration in local prices thanks to the hit to Ukraine’s exports from the war.
The group said it was selling leftover inventory from last year’s harvest “with crop prices significantly lower as compared with before the war period values due to the group’s inability to export as well as due to local oversupply of grains”.
There was the prospect of “further local crop prices deterioration” once 2022 harvests begin, adding extra supplies to that already backing up in stores.
“Taking into account [the] significant up to 15m-20m tonnes of stocks of 2021 harvest locked in Ukraine since the beginning of war, there are high risks of further oversupply in the country.”
AgroGeneration faced a “very high” risk of storage difficulties for its 2022 harvest.
Shares in the group tumbled by 8.2% to E0.092 in lunchtime deals in Paris.