KIEV, UKRAINE — Dry weather conditions in parts of Ukraine will lead to a smaller winter wheat harvest in 2020-21, the state-run weather forecast center told Reuters on May 28.

The winter wheat harvest for the upcoming marketing year is projected at 23.3 million tonnes, down from 26 million tonnes in 2019-20, said Tetyana Adamenko, head of the weather forecast center’s agriculture department.

He told Reuters that severe drought across the southern part of Ukraine is the main reason for the lowered forecast.

Ukraine, the world’s fourth largest wheat exporter, harvested a record 75 million tonnes of grain in 2019-20, according to the country’s Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture. It also has exported a record 53 million tonnes.

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 due to the coronavirus pandemic, which began in early 2020 and is continuing its spread.

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