Ukraine's wheat exports will be capped at 16.6 million tonnes in the current 2015/16 season, said Minister Oleksiy Pavlenko. There will also be no cuts to the available volume for international deliveries.
"We allow the market to complete this season with the agreed figure," Pavlenko told Reuters. He also promised a "new and fair" volume in an upcoming annual memorandum which was signed between the government and traders to decide exportable amounts.
The threshold was agreed upon by the country's agriculture ministry and traders, and was seen as a move to save adequate wheat stocks for domestic demand. The minimum level of stocks had also been raised from 1.6 million tonnes in 2014, to 2.5 million tonnes this year.
Ukraine's winter wheat sowings are presently affected by serious droughts across half of its territories, raising concerns of a lower harvest in 2016 which could range between 14 and 17 million tonnes. Furthermore, exports, according to a senior agriculture ministry source, could amount to about 3.5 million tonnes in 2016/17 as a result of poor weather. The volume represents a fall from the 16.5 million tonnes expected in the earlier 2015/16 season.
Adding to the crop's woes, a loss of about 12 million tonnes of wheat could occur next year in a worst case scenario.
However, even with the recent decision on export and stock limits, Pavlenko is confident that Ukraine's food security will be able to hold out.
Based on ministry estimates, Ukraine might witness a grain harvest of 60 million tonnes in 2015, including 27-28 million tonnes of wheat and 22-23 million tonnes of corn.
Grain exports could also reach a higher 36 million tonnes in the July 2015 – June 2016 season, compared to the same period (34.9 million tonnes) in 2014/15.