January 26, 2006


Ukraine's cold winter seen affecting wheat output


Ukraine's wheat output this year is expected to be about 9.2 million tonnes--half of its 2005 level--due to severe winter cold, APK-Inform said Wednesday.


Overall output is expected to fall by 9.5 million tonnes from the year before. Winter wheat production, which accounts for the bulk of Ukraine's wheat output, is seen falling to 7.92 million tonnes, from 17.54 million last year.


Other reasons for the decline are an expected decrease in planted area and an anticipated drop in yields.


Spring wheat production is estimated at 1.24 million tonnes, slightly up from 1.03 million in 2005.


"The expected 2006 wheat production might be sufficient for domestic requirements taking into account large carryover stocks," APK-Inform said, but the country may need to import wheat and wheat flower in the in the marketing year from July 2006 to June 2007.


Ukraine agriculture ministry earlier estimated 2006 winter wheat output at 12 million tonnes. In 2005, Ukraine harvested 18.7 million tonnes of wheat, up from 17.52 million in 2004. Ukraine's lowest wheat harvest in recent years was registered in 2003, when it stood at just 3.6 million tonnes.


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