March 14, 2012


Ukraine's 2012 grain crop forecast up



Ukraine's 2012 grain harvest forecast has been raised by UkrAgroConsult on Tuesday (Mar 13) to 45.5 million tonnes from a previous estimate of 45.1 million.


The former Soviet republic was likely to harvest more peas, oats and millet this year, the consultancy said in a statement.


It also said Ukraine, which could thresh 13.8 million tonnes of wheat in 2012, was likely to export seven million tonnes, while overall grain exports might total 24.88 million tonnes this season.


"The slow pace of wheat and barley exports in the first half of the season indicates that export potential for these two crops will not be realised. Their surpluses will be partially utilised for feed purposes and the remainder will be carried over into the next season," UkrAgroConsult said.


It added that about 3.2 million tonnes of wheat was exported from Ukraine in July-February 2011/12. The largest buyer of Ukrainian wheat was Spain, which took in about 30% of Ukrainian exports.


Ukraine harvested a record 56.7 million tonnes of grain and the government has said the exports could total 21-23 million tonnes this season. Ukraine consumes 26 million tonnes of grain per season.


Prime Minister Mykola Azarov told Reuters this week the government would not impose grain export limits in the coming season because of expectations of an "average" harvest despite drought late last year followed by sharp frosts.


Farmers had raised concerns over the harvest after a record drought in July-November followed by severe frosts in January-February which damaged about a third of the winter crop.


But Farm Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk said last month that Ukraine was likely to harvest 42-50 million tonnes of grain this year.


Kiev-based ProAgro consultancy this week raised its forecast for Ukraine's 2012 grain harvest by 7% to 45.66 million tonnes due to a bumper harvest of corn.


The country was likely to harvest 21.3 million tonnes of corn and 14.3 million tonnes of wheat this year, the consultancy said in a note.

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