November 9, 2007


Ukraine to allow grain exports of 1.2 million tonnes



Ukraine, which has set grain export quotas for November-March, is likely to introduce an additional 1.2-million-tonne quota for the period from April to June 2008, according to its first deputy farm minister Thursday (November 8).


According to Borys Supikhanov, the volume would be a "good pace of export for January to March" and should be "prolonged".


Farm Minister Yuri Melnyk told Reuters last month that the government needed to maintain export limits for the period from April to June 2008 due to lower grain harvest in 2007 and a strong export demand.


The agriculture ministry says this year's grain crop is likely to fall to 29.2 million tonnes from 34.25 million in 2006 due to a severe drought in leading grain production areas.


The decline has 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 Nov. 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.


Supikhanov said the prospects for exports in the second half of the 2007/08 season would depend on world grain prices and on the state of the Ukrainian winter crops.


He said farms had completed 2008 winter crop sowing, increasing the area to between 7.6 and 7.7 million hectares compared with about 7 million a year earlier.


Supikhanov said farms had increased the area sown with rye and wheat.


In September, Melnyk said the sowing area of 7.5 million hectares allowed farmers to boost the 2008 grain crop to 40 million tonnes.


The leading UkrAgroConsult agriculture consultancy has said the 2008 grain crop could reach 37.6 million tonnes, including 17.5 million of wheat.

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