KIEV (Reuters) — Analyst UkrAgroConsult raised on Tuesday its forecast for Ukraine’s 2011 grain harvest to 46.256 million tonnes from the previous outlook of 44.117 million due to an increase in crops of maize, wheat and barley.
The higher harvest, UkrAgroConsult said, would allow Ukraine to export 22.3 million tonnes of grain in the 2011/12 season against 12.7 million tonnes in 2010/11.
The consultancy said in a statement the ex-Soviet republic was likely to harvest 20.6 million tonnes of wheat, 15.0 million tonnes of maize and 8.3 million tonnes of barley this year.
“We slightly raised our crop forecasts for wheat and barley. With regard to maize, the favourable weather conditions allowed us to raise its crop estimate to 15 million tonnes,” UkrAgroConsult said.
Ukraine’s second-ranking agriculture official, Mykola Bezugly, said last month farms would harvest 51 million tonnes of grain this year against 39.2 million in 2010 thanks to favourable weather.
According to data provided by the Agriculture Ministry, farms had harvested 33.7 million tonnes of grain bunker weight as of August 15 and the grain yield averaged 3.05 tonne per hectare.
After a catastrophic drought across the region in 2010 which prompted Russia to close its borders to grain exports and Ukraine to introduce a quota system, the Black Sea grain power houses appear poised to return to world markets in force with cheap grain and plentiful supply.
PLANS TO BOOST EXPORTS
Ukraine’s Farm Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk has said the country plans to boost exports to about 23 million tonnes in the 2011/12 season from 12.7 million in 2010/11 while Russia, which expects the harvest of about 90 million tonnes, could ship abroad 20-23 million.
UkrAgroConsult said exports could reach 22.345 million tonnes this season and the volume would include 9.7 million tonnes of wheat, 3.2 million tonnes of barley and 9.1 million tonnes of maize.
A season earlier Ukraine exported 5.6 million tonnes of maize, 2.9 million tonnes of barley and 4.1 million of wheat.
“We believe prices for key grain commodities will gradually grow in the future, reflecting the global demand and strong competitiveness of Black Sea grain,” UkrAgroConsult said.
“We expect prices to sag in September due to the anticipated arrival of an abundant corn crop to the market.”
Posted by Haylie Shipp