Ukraine sees fall in 2023/24 grain exports on smaller sowing area
Ukraine will likely reduce its winter grain exports in the 2023/24 season due to a smaller-than-expected sowing area caused by the Russian invasion, a senior agriculture official said.
Ukraine is among leading global grain growers and exporters but its output and exports have dropped due to the hostilities in many regions.
“Unfortunately, the war had a negative impact on the ability to sow areas with winter crops. There were also unfavourable weather conditions and less was sown,” Taras Vysotskiy, the first deputy agriculture minister, told national television.
The ministry data showed that farmers had sown 4.5 million hectares of winter grains as of Nov. 29, or 94% of the expected area.
The acreage included 3.8 million hectares of winter wheat versus 6.2 million sowed last year, only 4.6 million hectares of which had been harvested as a large area has been occupied by Russian troops who invaded Ukraine in February.
“A decrease (in sown areas) will reduce exports, but even with such an area, we expect that there will be 2 times more grown than domestic consumption. There will be a negative impact on exports, but not on domestic consumption,” Vysotskiy said.
He did not say how big the country’s domestic wheat consumption was. Analyst APK-Inform said Ukraine may consume up to 8 million tonnes of wheat in the 2022/23 July-June season.
APK-Inform also said the export of wheat could vary between 8.1 and 13.8 million tonnes, depending on the logistical situation.
Ukraine has exported 6.9 million tonnes of wheat so far in 2022/23 versus 14.6 million tonnes at the same time a season earlier as its Black Sea ports remained blocked in the first half of the year.
After an almost six-month blockade caused by the Russian invasion, three Ukrainian Black Sea ports were unblocked at the end of July under a deal between Moscow and Kyiv brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk Editing by Bernadette Baum)