Ukrainian wheat finding its way onto market - Aryzta CEO

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Smoke rises in the sky after shelling near a winter wheat field, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, near the town of Bakhmut, in Donetsk region, Ukraine June 18, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

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ZURICH, July 1 (Reuters) - Ukrainian wheat is finding its way onto world markets despite the Russian invasion, the head of Swiss baked goods group Aryzta (ARYN.S) said in a newspaper interview.

"At the moment, the quantities of grain are still there, they simply cannot be exported under Ukrainian control. But they find other ways onto the world market. Because grain is money, and money means weapons," CEO Urs Jordi said in an interview published on Friday by Swiss paper Finanz und Wirtschaft.

"When ships can leave the (blockaded Ukrainian) port of Odesa again in a controlled manner, prices will correct themselves to some extent. The decisive factor will be whether the farmers in Ukraine can sow winter wheat in autumn," he added.

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Asked what would happen if that were not the case, he said: "Basically, we supply ourselves with local flour. But there would be a 30% shortage of wheat on the world market, and that would drive prices up further."

Ukraine's grain exports plunged 43% year-on-year to 1.41 million tonnes in June, the agriculture ministry said on Friday, but grain exports for the 2021-22 season ending June 30 rose 8.5% to 48.5 million tonnes, driven by strong shipments prior to the Feb. 24 invasion.

Wheat exports rose to 18.7 million tonnes in the 2021/22 season from 16.6 million a year earlier.

Ukraine has accused Russia of stealing grain from the territories that Russian forces have seized. The Kremlin has denied this. read more

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Reporting by Michael Shields Editing by Mark Potter

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