January 13, 2010


Ukraine grain crop to decline in 2010



Poor weather during the winter sowing could cause Ukraine's 2010 grain crop to drop to 43.35 million tonnes from 44.41 million tonnes in 2009.


Analyst UkrAgroConsult said the 2010 wheat harvest could fall to 18.74 million tonnes from 20.82 million a year ago, while the barley crop could decline to 11.2 million tonnes from 11.32 million.


The government said the 2009 grain crop was likely to total 48.5 million tonnes compared with a record 53.3 million in 2008.


Winter crop conditions before entering the winter dormancy are somewhat worse than last year; this gives grounds to suppose that their loss while wintering will result in their partial reseeding with spring crops, UkrAgroConsult said in a report.


Winter crop losses could amount to 400,000-450,000 hectares against 250,000 hectares last year. They will be reseeded with spring crops such as corn and sunflower, the report said.


UkrAgroConsult said about 11% of winter crops sown for the 2010 harvest were in a poor state as of the end of December 2009 compared with 6.1% year earlier.


Some 45.3% of crops sown for the 2010 harvest were in good condition, compared with 62.9% a year earlier.


Poor government support for grain production, a sharp drop in bank lending, high prices for inputs prevent many grain growers from application of fertilisers, pesticides, machinery requested by technology, the consultancy said.