Ukraine 2022 sunseed harvest likely to plunge 42% - APK-Inform

LVIV, Ukraine, March 24 (Reuters) - Ukraine’s 2022 sunflower seed harvest could decrease by 42% to 9.6 million tonnes due to a sharp decrease in the sowing areas following Russia’s invasion, APK-Inform agriculture consultancy said late Wednesday.

Ukraine is the world’s largest sunflower seed grower and sunflower oil exporter.

APK-Inform said the 2022 sowing area under sunflowers may fall to a minimum level for 13 years, amounting to about 4.2 million to 4.4 million hectares, or 35% down versus 2021 levels.

“This reduction is due to the fact that much of the battles in the country are concentrated in the main regions of sunflower cultivation,” the consultancy said.

It said the harvest of rapeseed could fall by 19% to 2.52 million tonnes, while soybean production is likely to fall by 23% to 2.74 million tonnes.

Ukrainian agriculture minister Roman Leshchenko told Reuters this week that the country’s spring crop sowing area may more than halve this year from 2021 levels to some 7 million hectares.

Ukraine has already started spring sowing. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)