Ukraine's grain exports could fall by up to 22% in the newly
started season, undermined by the threat of "cold conditions" to corn, besides
the fallout from the country's political crisis.
The Ukrainian Agribusiness Club estimated at 26m-27m tonnes Ukraine's
grain exports in the 2014-15 season, which started on Tuesday, representing a
fall of 6.3m-7.3m tonnes year on year.
The fall in exports is line with a drop of 6.5m-7.5m tonnes
the industry association forecast for the country's grains harvest this year,
to 55m-56m tonnes, proving particularly downbeat over prospects for corn
Ukraine's corn harvest will fall to 24.5m-25.5m tonnes this
year, from levels in 2014 which hit a record 30.9m tonnes, according to the
International Grains Council and the US Department of Agriculture.
The club said its forecast reflected in part "cold weather
conditions in most Ukrainian regions", which would depress the corn yield to
levels "worse than expected".
However, the forecast also reflected the weakness of the
hryvnia, down 30% this year thanks to the country's political turmoil, which
has forced growers to reassess use of imported crop inputs, "which in turn
could lead to a decrease in primary crop yield", said Igor Ostapchuk, Ucab agriculture
Ukraine corn harvest forecasts
Lanworth: 28.1m tonnes
USDA: 27.0m tonns
IGC: 26.5m tonnes
Ucab: 24.5m-25.5m tonnes
The club also highlighted the "crucial issue" of how unrest
in the eastern regions, Donetsk and Lughansk, has affected sowings.
Ukrainian forces this week launched fresh military operations
against pro-Russia separatists in the east, after a 10-day ceasefire ended on Monday
The annexation of Crimea itself has had a relatively small effect
on Ukraine's grains output, with the region responsible for "minimal"
production of corn, according to the USDA.
Wheat, of which the Crimea produces some 800,000 tonnes a
year, is the region's main grain, the USDA says.
Barley and wheat
Ukraine's corn output - which has soared from levels which
averaged 7.0m tonnes in the first decade of the century - has become a factor of
broad market importance, offering an alternative source of exports for a grain
which has traditionally been available in quantity only from the Americas.
Ukraine wheat harvest forecasts
Lanworth: 22.0m tonnes
Ucab: 21.2m-22.2m tonnes
USDA: 20.0m tonns
IGC: 20.0m tonnes
Corn shipments of some 20m tonnes last season were quadruple
those three years before.
Ucab was more in line with other forecasts from other
commentators in estimates for Ukraine's barley crop, pegging it at 6.8m-7.3m
On wheat, the club was relatively upbeat, seeing the harvest
at 21.2m-22.2m tonnes, above the 20.0m tonnes forecast by both the IGC and USDA.
Ukraine's wheat production too is particularly closely
watched on international markets, given the country's reputation as an exporter
of competitively priced supplies.