December 22, 2003


Ukraine To Buy 200,000 Tons Wheat in 1st Half 2004


Ukraine's state-run Hlib Ukrainy grain company announced recently a decision to purchase up to 200,000 tons of foreign milling wheat in January through June next year to cover a national food grain deficit attributed to this year's disastrous harvest.


To ensure its 48 million people have enough bread, Ukraine will import 4.2 million tons of food, after its ever-worst wheat harvest in 50 years ago.


Commercial director Oleksander Kovylin said the company planned to buy about 100,000 tons of U.S.-origin wheat and from 50,000 to 100,000 tons of Canadian wheat or foreign wheat already supplied to Ukraine by international grain traders.


"Wheat from North America is the most attractive for us," he said, pointing to possible future export restriction in Russia and Kazakhstan.


In the first months of the current season Ukraine imported grain mostly from Kazakhstan and Russia.


Ukraine, facing a deficit of food grain after 2003's crop, increased wheat imports from Canada in December 1-15 to 122,590 tons from 65,000 tons in all of November.

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