Traders ask Ukraine government to cancel wheat export curbs

Shipments have mostly stopped since late February
calendar icon 5 April 2022
clock icon 1 minute read

Ukraine's traders union UGA has asked the government to cancel wheat export curbs as stocks are very high and the shipments would not affect Ukrainian food security, the union said on Tuesday.

In March, Ukraine introduced export licences for wheat, corn and sunflower oil. Two weeks later, the government cancelled export restrictions on corn and sunoil, reported Reuters.

Ukraine is among the world's leading producers and exporters of grain and the top exporter of sunflower oil.

Ukraine, which harvested 33 million tonnes of wheat in 2021, had planned to export 25.3 million tonnes in the 2021/22 July-June season.

But shipments have almost stopped since late February due to the Russian invasion and blockade of the Black Sea ports.

"About 12 million tonnes of wheat are still stored in Ukraine, while less than 3 months are left before the new harvest, and domestic consumption can be about 1.5 million tonnes," UGA said in a statement.

"The cancellation of export licences will simplify the mechanism of wheat exports and free up storage capacity for the new crop," it said.

Ukraine is a traditional grower of winter wheat and, according to traders, most of the crop is in good state.

The government has not yet published its 2022 wheat crop forecast while analyst APK-Inform has forecast that output could fall by 53.7% to 14.9 million tonnes.

Melanie Epp

Melanie Epp is a freelance agricultural journalist from Ontario, Canada.

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