April 19, 2020 / 12:20 PM / 4 months ago

Ukraine weekly wheat exports jump 47% despite government warning

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian wheat exports jumped nearly 50 percent in the week of April 11-17 despite a government warning that it could ban shipments if export rates are too high.

FILE PHOTO: Ears of wheat in a field near the village of Zhovtneve, Ukraine, July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photo

Preliminary data from the APK-Inform consultancy on Sunday showed that Ukraine exported 319,000 tonnes of wheat last week, up from 217,000 tonnes a week earlier.

Taras Vysotskiy, deputy economy minister in charge of agriculture, told Reuters last week that Ukraine, one of world’s top grain exporters, was ready to ban wheat exports if sales exceed limits agreed with traders.

APK-Inform said that the 2019/20 season’s wheat exports had reached 18.56 million tonnes as of April 17, compared with 12 million tonnes at the same date in 2019.

Overall grain exports, which include wheat, corn and barley, also rose, reaching 47.436 million tonnes, up from 35.922 million tonnes in the same period the previous season.

Most of Ukraine’s grain exports have headed for Egypt, Turkey and Spain this season.

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 crisi deepening.

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.

Ukraine harvested a record 75.1 million tonnes of grain in 2019, up from 70 million tonnes in 2018.

The economy ministry forecast that Ukraine could export a record 52 million to 55 million tonnes of grain this season.

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Alex Richardson and David Goodman

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