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Ukraine 2022 wheat crop seen down 42% at 19.2 mln T – traders union

Ukraine’s 2022 wheat harvest is likely to drop to 19.2 million tonnes from a record 33 million tonnes in 2021, Ukrainian grain traders’ union UGA said on Wednesday, though lower exports are seen pushing stocks to record levels.

Ukrainian officials and analysts say that hostilities in many regions could make the harvest impossible, though the union did not officially specify a reason for the decrease.

UGA said this year’s corn production could also decline to 26.1 million tonnes from 37.6 million tonnes in 2021, while barley output could fall to 6.6 million tonnes from 10.1 million tonnes.

The union expects Ukraine to be able to export 10 million tonnes of wheat and 15 million tonnes of corn, though current export capacity cannot exceed 18 million tonnes for the whole season.

“At the same time, exports from Ukraine in the new season can reach 30 million tonnes, provided that the throughput capacity of crossings at the borders of Ukraine is doubled,” UGA said in a statement.

In peacetime Ukraine, a major global grain grower and exporter, ships abroad up to 6 million tonnes a month of grain. Its exports fell sharply after Black Sea ports were blocked due to the Russian invasion that began on Feb. 24.

Grain exports totalled around 1.06 million tonnes in May, compared with 1.1 million tonnes in April.

The union said grain stocks could reach a record high of 25 million tonnes due to the sharp fall in exports, and may rise to 43 million tonnes in the worst case scenario at the end of next season.

“Ukraine will be guaranteed to have sufficient grain reserves, while the countries of the world will not receive a significant amount of grain from Ukraine due to the war…, which will lead to higher prices and food inflation even in developed countries,” UGA said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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