KIEV, March 5 Foreign trading houses have not
resumed concluding new grain exports contracts due to continued
tensions between Ukraine and Russia, Ukraine's Agriculture
Minister Ihor Shvaika said on Wednesday.
"They are still waiting and there are no new contracts,"
Shvaika told Reuters.
Ukraine said on Wednesday it hoped the crisis in the Crimea
region, where Russian forces have taken over buildings and
military installations, could soon be resolved through dialogue.
Political instability and violence had caused some traders
in Ukraine, the world's third-biggest maize exporter, to hold
back from agreeing new contracts, while Russian maize export
prices have been rising for two weeks.
Ukrainian grain lobby UAC said that traders were continuing
grain exports from terminals in Crimea despite tensions.
UAC said in a statement 45,000 tonnes of Ukrainian maize
had been sent from terminals in Sevastopol to Italy and Spain in
the last two days.
But the lobby said that it expected a decrease in shipments
in the near future.
Ukraine, a leading grain seller, said this week it had
exported around 25 million tonnes of grain so far this season
and planned to ship an additional 8.7 million tonnes in the
remaining four months of this season which runs from July to
(Reporting By Pavel Polityuk; editing by Keiron Henderson)