Ukraine grain exports down 33.4% so far this season, ministry says

FILE PHOTO: A truck is seen at a grain terminal during barley harvesting in Ukraine on June 23, 2022. REUTERS/Igor Tkachenko

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine’s grain exports are down 33.4% year on year in the 2022/23 season so far at almost 12 million tonnes, but the pace of shipments is increasing gradually, agriculture ministry data showed on Tuesday.

The country’s grain exports have slumped since Russia invaded in February, with the closing off of its Black Sea ports driving up global food prices and prompting fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East.

Three Black Sea ports were unblocked at the end of July under a deal between Moscow and Kyiv, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.

Ministry data showed that exports so far in the July 2022 to June 2023 season included 4.49 million tonnes of wheat, 6.29 million tonnes of corn and 1 million tonnes of barley.

The government has said that Ukraine could harvest between 50 million and 52 million tonnes of grain this year, down from a record 86 million tonnes in 2021, because of the loss of land to Russian forces and lower yields.

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by David Goodman