October 24, 2007


Ukraine grain crops, exports seen higher next year



Grain harvest in Ukraine is seen to increase to 37.565 million tonnes in 2008 from 27.7 million in 2007 due to bigger sown area and better weather, according to an agriculture consultancy on Tuesday (October 23).


UkrAgroConsult also revised up its grain export forecast slightly to 3.505 million tonnes compared with the previous estimate of 3.435 million due to higher corn shipments.


In a statement, UkrAgroConsult said wheat crop could rise to 17.5 million tonnes in 2008 from 13.7 million in 2007, while the barley harvest may jump to 10.5 million from 6.15 million this year.


The consultancy said the total area sown to the 2008 grain crop can possibly reach 15.625 million hectares against 15.5 million in 2007. It said the average yield could rise to 2.51 tonnes per hectare next year from 2.06 in 2007.


Ukraine suffered the worst drought in a half a century which destroyed about 1 million hectares of crops and prompted the government to lower its grain harvest forecast to 28-30 million tonnes from 38 million tonnes in early 2007.


The harvest totalled 34.25 million tonnes last year.


A smaller crop forced the government to introduce a prohibitive grain export quota for the period from July 1 to November 1, 2007.


In September, the government imposed a grain export quota of 1.203 million tonnes for the period from November 1 2007 to March 31 2008. The quota includes 600,000 tonnes of corn, 400,000 of barley, 200,000 of feed wheat and 3,000 of rye.


Agriculture officials have said the shipments could be 3 to 4 million tonnes this season, which runs from July 2007 to June 2008. UkrAgroConsult has also increased corn export outlook to 800,000 tonnes in 2007/08 from 750,000 a month earlier. It also increased pea exports forecast to 30,000 tonnes from 10,000.

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