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Reuters: “Ukraine Doesn’t Plan to curb 2023/24 Wheat Exports”

Reuters writers Rod Nickel and Pavel Polityuk reported yesterday that, “Ukraine sees no need to limit wheat exports for the upcoming 2023/24 July-June season, as the winter harvest looks to be larger than expected, albeit smaller than in peacetime, a top agriculture ministry official said on Thursday.

“Ukraine was the world’s fifth-largest wheat exporter before the war with Russia, and its shipments were especially important to poor countries in Africa and the Middle East.

“Based on results collected by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food as well as satellite images, farmers planted more wheat in southern areas than the ministry had forecast in autumn, first deputy farm minister Taras Vysotskiy told Reuters.”

“The Outlook for U.S. Agriculture – 2023 U.S. Agriculture: Seeds of Growth Through Innovation,” USDA Chief Economist Seth Meyer, February 2023.

The Reuters article noted that, “Some Ukrainian agriculture groups have suggested that the government may introduce limits on wheat exports, fearing a shortage of milling wheat at home after a smaller, poor-quality harvest.

“The ministry now estimates that farmers planted 4.1 million hectares of winter wheat nationally, up from its estimate in October of 3.7 to 3.8 million hectares, Vysotskiy said, adding that the ministry planned to formally release the new forecast on Monday.”

Nickel and Polityuk added that, “The size of Ukraine’s wheat crop depends largely on the rainfall it will receive in spring, before farmers harvest it, Vysotskiy said.

“The harvest may range from 16 million to 18 million tonnes, he estimated. Last year, Ukraine produced 20.2 million tonnes of wheat.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg writer Jen Skerritt reported yesterday that, “One of the world’s top wheat exporters is poised to add to an already abundant breadbasket.

Acres of non-durum wheat in Canada could rise as much as 7.3% in 2023 as growers shift acres away from oats and pulses, said Neil Townsend, chief market analyst at FarmLink in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Farmers will probably plant 20.8 million acres of wheat, up from 19.4 million acres a year ago, according to FarmLink estimates.

“The potential acreage boost comes as prices are being pressured from a bumper Russian harvest. Futures are down about 48% from highs set last year when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine spurred fears over shortages of grain from the Black Sea region, where much of the world’s food is produced.”

Recall that Reuters News reported last week that, “U.S. farmers will plant more corn and wheat in 2023 than they did a year earlier, taking advantage of relatively high prices and declining fertilizer costs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected on Thursday…Wheat plantings were forecast at 49.5 million acres, a seven-year high, up from 45.7 million in 2022.

USDA 2023/24 U.S. Grains and Oilseed Outlook. Presented on behalf of the Grains and Oilseeds Interagency Committees by Andrew Sowell, USDA Economic Service. USDA- Ag Outlook (February 24, 2023).

With global grain supplies near decade lows following Russia’s invasion of major grains producer Ukraine begun a year ago, a big U.S. crop is needed to replenish stockpiles whose reduced levels have driven food inflation over the last two years.”

Keith Good Photo

Keith Good is the Farm Policy News editor for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.

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