KIEV, UKRAINE — With six weeks of the marketing year remaining, Ukraine already has reached a yearly grain export record at 52.73 million tonnes in 2019-20, its Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture said on May 18.

The record total is up 17% from the previous year and will finish well ahead of the 2018-19 total of 50 million tonnes.

The ministry said the exported volume includes 19.8 million tonnes of wheat, 27.5 million tonnes of corn and 4.8 million tonnes of barley.

Ukraine’s total grain harvest in 2019-20 was 75 million tonnes, also a record.

Looking ahead to 2020-21, Ukraine Economy Minister Ihor Petrashko said on May 5 that the country is considering a cap on grain trade. He said Ukraine would aim for a balance between foreign currency earnings and food security with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which began in early 2020 and is continuing its spread. As of May 17, the virus had infected more than 4.8 million people and killed more than 317,000.

Follow our breaking news coverage of the coronavirus/COVID-19 situation.