KIEV, UKRAINE — Favorable weather has led to increased production estimates for all grains in Ukraine in 2019-20, according to an Oct. 15 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Wheat, barley and corn planted area all expanded this year compared to 2018, with wheat and barley acreage increasing by 14% and 13%, respectively, the USDA said.
Barley production is forecast to increase 22% to 9.3 million tonnes compared to 2018-19, while wheat output is projected to rise by 16% to 29 million tonnes. Meanwhile, corn production is forecast to decline by 7% to 33.3 million tonnes, according to the USDA.
“The observance of healthier vegetation is the basis for forecasting higher-than-average 2019-20 yields for all grains,” the USDA said. “However, it should be noted that favorable growth conditions for plants can also correlate with increased risks for pest and disease outbreaks. (USDA) is monitoring the situation and will adjust yield estimates accordingly.”
The report also noted that the excess corn from the 2018-19 crop is predominantly being exported to the E.U. and China. During the period October 2018 to March 2019, Ukraine shipped 11.1 million tonnes to Europe, more than twice the amount in the same period in 2017-18, and 2.3 million tonnes to China, nearly double the amount from the previous year.
Flour exports from Ukraine also fell as shipments from October 2018 to March 2019 declined by 40% from the same period the previous year.
“The major driver in this decline was a drop in shipments to China (62% in the aforementioned period), one of the key markets for Ukrainian flour producers,” the USDA said. “However, it should be noted that Ukraine’s flour exports decreased to almost every destination.”