July 6, 2007


Ukraine to export up to 5 million tonnes grain in 2007/08


Ukraine plans to export up to 5 million tonnes of grain in the 2007/08 marketing year, compared with about 10.5 million tonnes in the 2006/07 marketing year, the government press service reported Friday (Jul 6) quoting Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Slauta.


The country harvested 4.4 million tonnes of grain to Jul 5 on about 2.7 million hectares, which is 23 percent of the planned total area, with an average yield of 1.76 tonnes/hectare, the agriculture ministry said.


The national weather centre Ukrgidrometcentr said in a statement Jul 3 that Ukraine's grain harvest this year is unlikely to exceed 25-27 million tonnes, compared with 34.3 million tonnes in 2006, because of the damage done to crops by drought.


Ukraine's government has imposed a virtual ban on the export of grain as of Jul 1, to avoid shortages on the domestic market.


The ban's continuation has not been specified in the government decree, which only said it would last until about 3.5 million tonnes of grain had been stored in the national and regional grain reserves.


However, government sources said the ban is likely to run until Oct 1, giving sufficient time to fill the grain reserve.


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