KIEV, April 13 (Reuters) - Ukrainian wheat exports from seaports rose 20% in the week of April 4-10 even as the government tries to retain as much of the grain amid the coronavirus crisis, preliminary data from the APK-Inform consultancy showed on Monday.
Overall grain exports, which includes wheat, corn and barley, in the period also rose by 17% to 1.146 million tonnes from 978,000 tonnes.
Ukraine exported 171,000 tonnes of wheat, 922,000 tonnes of corn and 54,000 tonnes of barley, the consultancy said.
Ukrainian bakers and millers last month asked the government to limit exports of grain and related products to maintain bread prices in the event of the coronavirus spreading.
The economy ministry said it would control wheat export shipments, sell flour on the domestic market and agree with traders a maximum volume of wheat for export at 20.2 million tonnes.
APK-Inform said wheat exports had reached 18.195 million tonnes as of April 10, compared with 11.721 million tonnes at the same date in 2019.
Most of Ukraine’s grain exports last week was headed to Iran, South Korea and China.
Grain exports have jumped to about 46.4 million tonnes so far during the 2019/20 season that ends in July, from 34.9 million tonnes during the same period in 2018/19, the consultancy said.
Ukraine harvested a record 75.1 million tonnes of grain in 2019, up from 70 million in 2018.
Deputy economy minister Taras Vysotskiy said last month Ukraine could export a record 52-55 million tonnes of grain this season, including 19-20 million tonnes of wheat. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)