Ukraine will not limit barley, maize exports — ag minister

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Ukraine will impose no limits on exports of barley and maize in the current marketing season, Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk said Oct. 16, adding that the former Soviet republic would export over two million tonnes of grain this month.

“Moreover, we will encourage the exports of feed grains,” Prysyazhnyuk said on the sidelines of an international grain conference in Kiev.

The ministry gave no official export data for September, while some observers say the volume could total about 2.5 million tonnes with wheat dominating the shipments.

“Regarding wheat exports… everything will depend on how we will complete winter grain sowing,” he added.

Prysyazhnyuk said Ukraine had almost completed winter grain sowing for the 2013 harvest and only farms in the south needed more time due to the lack of moisture.

Weather forecasters said recent heavy rains which covered almost all Ukrainian regions would help all crops to germinate and strengthen.

Farms had sown 7.2 million hectares for the 2013 winter grain harvest as of Oct. 15, or 88 per cent of the originally forecast area, official data showed. Most crops have germinated and are in a good state.

In September, the Agriculture Ministry and traders agreed that exports from the former Soviet republic would not exceed 19.4 million tonnes this season, including four million tonnes of wheat, three million tonnes of barley and 12.4 million tonnes of maize.

Earlier, Prysyazhnyuk said the ministry had raised the export limit for wheat for 2012-13 season, adding one million tonnes to a previous four-million-tonne cap.

“We… understand that we cannot export any more than 5.0 million tonnes of wheat this season,” he said.

Traders and analysts, however, said that the country’s exportable wheat surplus could reach 5.5 to six million tonnes this season. Ukraine exported 5.4 million tonnes of wheat in 2011-12.

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