Export ban having little impact on Ukraine wheat

by Ron Sterk
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KANSAS CITY — Wheat shipments from Ukraine, a key Black Sea region exporter that competes with the United States especially in Middle East markets, totaled 4.57 million tonnes for the season to date but may see little impact from a grain export ban set for Dec. 1, according to trade reports.

The Ukrainian government earlier indicated wheat exports would be capped at 5.5 million tonnes as of Dec. 1, 2012, because of drought-reduced grain production in the country.

Because many wheat producers and exporters anticipated the export ban, they already sold most of their wheat supply and should see little impact from the export restrictions, according to a report from Fitch Ratings today.

Total season-to-date grain exports were 9.42 million tonnes, including 4.57 million tonnes of wheat, 3.1 million tonnes of corn and 1.61 million tonnes of barley, according to the Ukraine Grain Association.

In its Nov. 9 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected 2012-13 Ukraine wheat exports at 6 million tonnes, up 2 million tonnes from its October projection, up from 5.44 million tonnes estimated for 2011-12 and from 4.30 million tonnes in 2010-11. The export increase was in part the result of a projected 500,000-tonne decrease from October in domestic use of wheat in Ukraine, forecast at 11.8 million tonnes for 2012-13, due to reduced feed use, and compared with domestic use of 14.95 million tonnes estimated in 2011-12.

The U.S.D.A. projected wheat production in Ukraine at 15.50 million tonnes in 2012-13, down 30% from 22.12 million tonnes estimated for 2011-12 and compared with 16.84 million tonnes in 2010-11.
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