Ukraine AgMin Sees Bumper Wheat, Maize Exports

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Ukraine plans to boost its grain harvest to 51 million tonnes in 2011 from 39.2 million a year ago and hopes to double exports to 24 million tonnes in the 2011- 12 season, Ukraine s Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk said on Sept. 7.

Prysyazhnyuk told Reuters the former Soviet republic had harvested 22.2 million tonnes of wheat this year and had the capacity to ship abroad 10 million tonnes of the commodity in 2011-12, although current export restrictions were a big obstacle to this ambition.

Ukraine harvested 16.8 million tonnes of wheat in 2010 and exported 4.2 million in 2010-11.

We forecast the harvest of 51 million tonnes and wheat totals 22.2 million tonnes clean weight, Prysyazhnyuk said.

We do not consume a lot and this means that wheat exports could be at about 10 million tonnes, he said.

According to data, provided by the Agriculture Ministry, Ukraine had already completed the 2011 wheat harvest, threshing about 23 million tonnes of wheat by bunker weight.

Prysyazhnyuk said a high harvest, the second largest in the past 20 years, allowed Ukraine to boost exports this season but that current grain export duties prevent a jump in shipments.

No room for maize

Analysts and traders have said export duties, which reduce the pace of Ukrainian exports this season, could leave no room in silos for the maize (corn) harvest, which is expected to be at the record level of about 20 million tonnes.

With such low pace of exports we will have no room for late grains maize, sunseed, soybean, said UAC director Serhiy Stoyanov.

We could lose three to five million tonnes of maize, he said, referring to an absence of proper condition for maize storage.

Traders have said Ukraine could store no more than 30 million tonnes of grain.

Ukraine, a traditional producer and exporter of wheat and barley, could dominate the regional maize market this season after it expects to ship abroad 12 million tonnes.

Ukraine exported 5.1 million tonnes of maize in 2010-11.

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