* Donetsk, Luhansk regions harvested 3.5 mln T of grains in
* Some fields in these regions too dangerous to harvest
* Donetsk, Luhansk have harvested 2.9 mln T so far in 2014
* Cargill says reports of a fire at one of its Donetsk silos
(Adds detail, context on harvest in affected regions)
MOSCOW/KIEV, Aug 19 Ukraine will lose 15 percent
of its grain crop in two violence-hit regions in the country's
east, a spokesman for Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk
The former Soviet republic, expected to be the world's
second-largest grain exporter in the 2014/15 marketing year, has
suffered major disruption since a pro-Russian uprising erupted
in its eastern regions several months ago.
Earlier on Tuesday, Russia's Interfax news agency quoted
Yatseniuk as saying Ukraine would lose 15 percent of its grain
harvest due to the fighting and Russia's annexation of the
Crimean peninsula earlier this year.
"This refers to 15 percent of the harvest in the regions
where fighting is taking place," the spokesman for Yatseniuk
said when asked to clarify the report.
Ukraine's Agriculture Ministry expects the 2014 grain
harvest to exceed last year's record crop of 63 million tonnes.
Analysts and traders have said Ukraine is likely to harvest
around 60 million tonnes.
Last year, the Donetsk and Luhansk regions harvested 2.2
million tonnes and 1.3 million tonnes of grains, respectively,
according to official statistics.
About 15 percent of their crop, based on last year's data,
would be 500,000 tonnes, according to Reuters calculations,
similar to an estimate of losses made in July by Ukrainian
Agriculture Minister Ihor Shvaika.
So far this year, Donetsk and Luhansk have harvested 2
million tonnes and 0.9 million tonnes, according to the
"A certain percentage of fields in these regions continue to
be dangerous for harvesting," the ministry said on its website.
A group of armed individuals occupied a Cargill Inc
sunflower-seed crushing plant in the Donetsk region in
July after it was closed due to the increased tensions in the
Cargill is an agribusiness giant, one of the world's largest
"We have received reports that there was a fire at one of
the grain silos at our facility in Donetsk which was attended by
the local fire brigade. Unconfirmed reports suggest this may
have been the result of a missile hit," a spokeswoman at Cargill
said on Tuesday.
"No injuries and no damage to the rest of the facility have
been reported. We are unable to make any further assessment of
the facility at this time," the spokeswoman added.
Ukrainian farms harvested 34.7 million tonnes of grain in
the whole country as of Aug. 15, including 24.1 million tonnes
of wheat and 9.3 million tonnes of barley, the Agriculture
(Reporting by Polina Devitt in Moscow, Pavel Polityuk in Kiev
and Sarah McFarlane in London; Additional reporting by Maria
Tsvetkova in Donetsk; Editing by Michael Urquhart and Alexander