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Ukraine's wheat exports to drop to 10-year low, US Agriculture Department says

by Martin Fornusek June 13, 2024 11:24 PM 2 min read
Combine harvesters of Continental Farmers Group agricultural company harvest wheat on Aug. 4, 2022, in Ternopil Oblast, Ukraine. (Alexey Furman/Getty Images)
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Ukraine's wheat exports in the marketing year 2024-2025 are expected to amount to 13 million metric tons, the lowest figure in the past decade, the U.S. Agriculture Department said in its June report.

The authors linked this development to a drop in production and to Russia's disruption of Black Sea shipping lanes, which have traditionally been Ukraine's key export routes.

The report also estimated Ukraine's wheat production in the upcoming marketing year at 19.5 million metric tons, a 3.5-million decrease compared to last year's harvest.

Ukraine is one of the world's leading agricultural producers and has been a major supplier of grain and other products to countries in Africa and Asia.

Russia's full-scale war against the country and its attempted blockade of the Black Sea forced Ukrainian exporters to seek alternative routes and markets, which in turn led to clashes between Ukrainian and European producers.

The EU implemented a free trade regime with Ukraine in 2022 to alleviate its economy, but subsequent import bans and border blockades in eastern member states forced Brussels to implement additional "safety mechanisms" to protect local farmers.

Ukraine's losses are further compounded by the destruction wrought by Russia's war and by the occupation of parts of its territory, where Moscow continues to loot local resources, including grain.

Russia, the world's leading wheat exporter, is widely believed to be stealing Ukrainian grain and selling it off on global markets as its own product.

The U.S. Agriculture Department's report showed a significant rise in Russian wheat exports in the past 10 years, but the volumes are expected to drop in 2024-2025 to 48 million metric tons from 52 million during the previous period. This was mainly linked to a poor harvest caused by harsh weather conditions.

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