KYIV, UKRAINE — A significant drop in Ukraine’s grain harvest may lead to local food grain shortages and export restrictions in the coming year, Reuters reported, citing a senior analyst with the IMC agriculture company.

Ukraine’s grain harvest is likely to fall to 35 million to 40 million tonnes in 2023, including 12 million to 15 million tonnes of wheat and 15 million to 17 million tonnes of corn, Alex Lissitsa, chief executive officer of IMC and president of the Association ‘Ukrainian Agribusiness Club,’ told a grain conference on Jan. 30.

Lissitsa also said Ukraine would be able to export around 15 million tonnes of grain in the 2023-24 season. Exports could include up to 7 million tonnes of wheat and up to 10 million tonnes of corn.

Referring to low wheat production potentially leading to local shortages and export restrictions, he said: “There is such a danger.”

He said a discussion of an export ban could start in May, with officials likely surprised by the low amount of grain that has been sown. The Russian invasion in late February last year was the main reason for the fall, he noted, with swaths of land in the east, south and north of the country have been occupied or damaged by the war.

Denys Marchuk, deputy chair of the Ukrainian Agrarian Council, told Ukrainian television earlier on Monday that the area sown to corn in Ukraine could fall by 30% to 35% in 2023 because of a shortage of money for farmers due to low domestic prices and electricity blackouts, according to Reuters.

Ukraine is a major global wheat and corn supplier but has said that its 2022 grain harvest could fall to about 51 million tonnes from a record 86 million tonnes harvested in 2021 due to the war.