Wheat production in Ukraine in 2019 will remain virtually unchanged, while exports will increase by 2 million tonnes, to 18 million tonnes, President of the Ukrainian Grain Association Mykola Horbachev has said. “Next year, wheat production will be at the same level – perhaps 1 million tonnes more, everything depends on weather. We expect more favorable conditions for yields, so we expect exports to reach 18 million tonnes this year 16 million tonnes,” he said.
According to him, the harvest and export of other grain crops next year will be almost at the level of this year, except for corn: this year Ukraine has collected a record high harvest of 35 million tonnes of corn due to high yields because of weather conditions, while with normal yields next year production will be 27 million tonnes.
The association president noted that the main importers of Ukrainian grain are the EU countries (in particular, Spain), North Africa and Asia. At the same time, in his opinion, with the increase in production, an additional volume of grain will go to Asia, where there is a large population growth (in particular, to China, Indonesia and India), whereas a large expansion on the European continent should not be expected.
The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food and grain traders have signed a memorandum to fix forecasted volume of wheat exports in the 2018/2019 marketing year (MY, July-June) at 16 million tonnes against 16.5 million tonnes in the previous MY.
The memorandum was signed on Friday, August 10, an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent said.
According to the appendix to the memorandum, exports of food wheat, which can be exported this MY, is determined at 8 million tonnes, while coarse wheat exports were fixed at 8 million tonnes.
Such document has traditionally been signed since 2011 between the Ministry and the market operators at the beginning of the season.
First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Maksym Martyniuk said during the signing ceremony that the figures could be adjusted taking into account the quality and volume of wheat.
As reported, the ministry raised its forecast for wheat harvest by one million tonnes, to 24 million tonnes, including 13 million tonnes of food wheat. According to the ministry’s preliminary estimates, the ratio of food/coarse wheat in 2018 will be 55/45. The domestic market demand for food wheat is estimated at 4.5 -5 million tonnes.
Ukraine in 2017/2018 MY exported 39.4 million tonnes of grain, including 17.14 million tonnes of wheat.
Taking into account grain harvests in the past years and the skills of farmers to work in different weather conditions, Ukraine would have more than enough grain for consumption, Deputy Agricultural Policy and Food Minister of Ukraine Viktor Sheremeta has said.
According to the press service of the ministry, one fifth of wheat harvest is enough for domestic consumption of Ukrainians.
“I want to lift all fears of our compatriots that in Ukraine there may be a shortage of grain, in particular wheat. Today we have so much grain that we need a fifth for domestic consumption of bread, and we export the rest of the grain. We feed the whole world. We harvest and we will harvest at least 60 million tonnes of grain,” the press service said, citing Sheremeta.
According to the ministry, as of June 20, 2018, 610,000 tonnes of grain have been threshed from 192,000 hectares with a yield of 31.7 centners per hectare, of which 48,000 tonnes of winter wheat from 18,000 hectares with a yield of 26.9 centners per hectare.