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Country Briefs

  Ukraine

Reference Date: 26-November-2019

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Unfavourable weather conditions negatively affected planting and germination of 2020 wheat crops

  2. All‑time high cereal production estimated in 2019

  3. Record cereal exports forecast in 2019/20

  4. Export and domestic prices of wheat increased in October, after seven months of consecutive declines

  5. About 1.1 million people estimated food insecure in conflict‑affected areas

Unfavourable weather conditions affected planting and germination of 2020 wheat crops

Land preparation and planting operations of the 2020 winter cereals, mainly wheat, took place between late August and October and crops are expected to be harvested in July and August next year. As of mid‑November, the southeastern key wheat‑producing provinces were experiencing soil moisture deficits. This is due to poor rainfall amounts and warmer‑than‑average temperatures in September and October. As a result, the area planted with wheat is officially estimated at a below‑average level 6.2 million hectares. The unfavourable weather conditions have also delayed germination and emergence of crops in these areas.

All‑time high cereal production estimated in 2019

Harvesting of the 2019 winter and spring crops was completed by mid‑August and mid‑November, respectively, under favourable weather conditions. The 2019 aggregate cereal production is estimated at 73.5 million tonnes, 15 percent above the five‑year average and an all‑time high, mainly due to record outputs of wheat and barley crops, estimated at 28.8 and 9.1 million tonnes, respectively, on account of favourable weather conditions during the crop growing period, which boosted yields. Production of maize is estimated at a bumper level of 34 million tonnes, 20 percent above the five‑year average, mainly due to a progressive increase of the planted area. Over the last ten years, the area sown with maize almost doubled: from 2.7 million hectares in 2010 to the record level of about 5 million hectares in 2019.

Record cereal exports forecast in 2019/20

Total cereal exports in the 2019/20 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 50 million tonnes, about 20 percent above the five‑year average and an all‑time high. The upsurge is mainly due to record shipments of wheat and barley, forecast at 18.5 and 5 million tonnes, respectively, on account of the 2019 large domestic outputs. Maize shipments are also forecast at a bumper level of 26.5 million tonnes, about 25 percent above average and the second highest level after last year’s record.

Export and domestic prices of wheat increased in October

After decreasing between March and September 2019, export prices of milling quality wheat increased in October by about 8 percent. The rise mainly reflects the stronger demand by importers and the prevailing trends in the international market. Prices, however, remained more than 10 percent below those in October 2018. Domestic wheat prices also slightly rose in October, after seven months of consecutive declines, but remained lower than their values a year earlier, amid the bumper domestic output obtained in 2019.

About 1.1 million people estimated food insecure in conflict‑affected areas

The civil conflict, which began in the spring of 2014 in the eastern part of the country, has severely affected the overall food security situation in the conflict‑affected areas and caused large‑scale population displacement. In eastern provinces, employment opportunities decreased with the drastic reduction of industrial production, especially in the Donbas Region, formerly the economic heartland of the country. In rural areas, where households mostly rely on self‑production of food, transport connections have been largely damaged by the conflict, hampering the access to agricultural inputs, such as vegetable seeds, fodder for livestock, fertilizers and tools. Unemployment, reduced income and high inflation rates have severely limited the access to food for about 1.1 million people.

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