October 20, 2010


Weather damage extends to Ukraine's autumn crops



The poor weather in Ukraine has extended its damage to autumn-harvested crops, with both Astarta Holding and MHP, two of the country's biggest growers, reporting yield falls.


MHP, noting "concerns over weather conditions, said that the harvest on its 150,000 hectares of arable operations, farmed in support of its chicken plants, had thus far realised a corn yield of 8.0 tonnes per hectare, down 11.1%, with sunflower yields tumbling 21% to 2.6 tonnes per hectare.


While Ukraine has not suffered the same severity of drought as Russia this year, many regions suffered from a dearth of rains, with others hit by early-summer flooding.


Astarta in August revealed a drop in its wheat yields, with MHP on Monday saying that its wheat result, at 4.8 tonnes per hectare, was down 17.2% year on year. The group added that it had "successfully finished" its autumn sowing campaign, including 36,000 hectares of winter wheat, 9% more than a year ago, but made no comment on soil condition.


MHP's comments came as it unveiled that sales of chicken meat to external customers rose by 5.7% to 81,000 tonnes in the July-to-September quarter, helped by extra capacity. The average sales price rose by 12.1% to 14.05 hryvnia per kilogramme, as producers passed on to consumers the impact of soaring grain bills.


However, MHP, which manufactures nearly all its own chicken feed, said that its own production costs had only "slightly" increased, demonstrating the benefits of its grain-and-poultry business model.

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