KIEV, UKRAINE — Ukraine, one of the world’s biggest wheat exporters, has sharply increased its milling wheat imports during the 2020-21 marketing season, APK-Inform told Reuters on Feb. 22.

The Ukraine-based agency told Reuters that 14,500 tonnes of the commodity have been imported to date, with most of it coming from neighboring Belarus. The current marketing year ends on June 30.

Ukraine imported only 2,200 tonnes of wheat during the 2019-20 marketing year, according to APK-Inform, which noted that domestic wheat prices had risen 28% from October 2020 to February 2021, while Belarus wheat prices were almost 70% less as of mid-February.

Ukraine has exported about 13 million tonnes of wheat during the current marketing year and is expected to ship around 17.5 million tonnes by the end of 2020-21.

Last year, Ukraine was the world’s fifth-ranked wheat exporter at 21.1 million tonnes, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service.