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Ukraine traders agree wheat export curb to protect bread prices

Ukraine’s biggest grain traders agreed on Monday to an economy ministry proposal to limit wheat exports to 20.2 million tonnes in the 2019/20 season to avoid a rise in domestic bread prices.

Although Ukraine is a major grain exporter and its harvest largely exceeds domestic consumption, the coronavirus pandemic has led some countries to consider feed export restrictions.

Ukrainian bakers and millers last week asked the government to limit exports of grain and related products to maintain bread prices in the event of the coronavirus spreading.

The economy ministry said it would control wheat export shipments, sell flour in the domestic market and agree with traders a maximum volume of wheat for export.

Ukraine has exported around 18 million tonnes of wheat so far this season.

“(The remaining volume of) 2.2 million tonnes for export in April-June … is absolutely typical for Ukraine in the last months of the season and does not bear any food security risks,” the UGA traders union said in a statement.

Ukraine has increased its grain exports by more than 20% to around 45.4 million tonnes for the 2019/20 July-June season. It plans to export a record 52-55 million tonnes of grain this season, according to an economy ministry forecast.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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