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Reference Date: 26-March-2014


  1. Early prospects for 2014 winter cereal crops are favourable

  2. Record high 2013 cereal production and 2013/14 cereal exports

  3. Domestic cereal prices increasing despite ample production reflecting the national currency depreciation

Early prospects for 2014 winter cereal crops are favourable

According to official information, winter wheat for 2014 harvest was planted on 6.3 million hectares and winter barley on 1.2 million hectares compared to 6.7 million and 1.1 million hectares respectively, planted in the previous year. General mild temperatures during winter led to early development of winter cereals. However, cumulated rainfall remains below average, particularly in the central regions (Cherkas’ka, Mykolayivs’ka) and could limit future prospects if soil moisture is not replenished. Up‑to‑date, spring planting is progressing satisfactorily despite worries about the impact of current political crisis on production due to increased cost of production. Taking into account the current conditions of winter crops in the country as well as further favourable spring cropping season, early forecast of Ukrainian 2014 cereal production points to about 60 million tonnes including 19 million tonnes of wheat.

Record high 2013 cereal production, 2013/14 (July/June) cereal exports

Following a decline in the cereal production in 2012 due to weather conditions, good crop conditions resulted in a record high 2013 cereal production of 62 million tonnes, including 21.5 million tonnes of wheat (36 percent above 2012 drought stricken harvest) and record breaking 31 million tonnes of maize (almost double of the 2012 production).

Like the production, exports in 2013/14 (July/June) reached record heights. Cereal exports are forecast at almost 30 million tonnes of cereals, including 9 million tonnes of wheat, 2.2 million tonnes of barley and 18 million tonnes of maize. Barley exports remain around the level of the previous marketing year, while significant increases are recorded for wheat and maize.

Political developments in Ukraine raised speculations about its ability to keep export commitments. As of now, the bulk of the projected wheat and maize exports for the 2013/14 marketing season has already been delivered and there are no signs of any major disruption in trade that would prevent final shipments matching projections.

Cereal prices increased significantly during last year

Domestic wheat and wheat flour prices started to increase in November 2013 reflecting currency depreciation and increased export demand. However, at the March levels prices were below their peaks of a year earlier reflecting the bumper 2013 harvest. With increased uncertainty about the exchange rate in Ukraine, farmers may hold on to their crops unless they really need to sell. Export wheat prices, in US dollars, have remained relatively stable in recent months.

Relevant links:
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Main Food-related Policy Measures (From 1 Jan 2008 to 11 Oct 2011)
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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