What of it to Ukraine? We are already the largest supplier of cereals to the EU, but this year we can break our previous records.

Oleg Kolomiiets, Chairman of the Board of the NGO "Ukrainian Agrarian Association", gave his comments on the harvest of cereals in Europe and Ukraine this season for UNIAN.

In particular, O. Kolomiiets noted that the effects of the heat on the grain harvest in Europe will not be catastrophic, "Some decrease of production of basic cereals in the countries of Europe (France, Germany, Spain, Great Britain, Poland) is expected. However, the total gross grain harvest in Europe in 2019 is expected to be higher than in the previous season."

In addition, the Chairman of the Board notes that in Ukraine this season there were also not very favorable weather conditions. A cool rainy spring, an abnormally hot June with virtually no rainfall, especially in the southern regions, and heavy thunderstorms from mid-July in the central and western regions at the beginning of the harvest - all this will affect both the yield and the quality of the grain harvested.

Nevertheless, the forecasts for the gross harvest of cereals in Ukraine this season are rather optimistic, especially regarding wheat and barley. This is primarily due to the increase of cultivation area of these crops. According to the State Statistical Service, the cultivation area under winter cereals in 2019 was increased to 7.58 million hectares (by 4.4% compared to the previous season). Also this year's harvest shows good dynamics. According to operational information of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy, as of July 26, Ukrainian agricultural businesses harvested 28 million tonnes of grain and leguminous crops, or 76% of the forecast (for comparison, in the previous year, as of July 25, 65% of the crop was harvested - Ed.). Out of these, 20.4 million tonnes of wheat (or 77% of the forecast) and 6.9 million tonnes of barley (or 79% of the forecast)”, says Oleg Kolomiiets. And as of July 31 - already 31.9 million tonnes, or 84% of the forecast.

He adds that, under such conditions, Ukraine has a rather high potential for supplying grain cultures to foreign markets and may even surpass last season's figures by increasing its wheat exports. “In the past 2018/2019 marketing year, Ukraine exported to the foreign markets a record-breaking for the whole period of independence amount of grain - 49.7 million tonnes. In particular, 15.7 mln tonnes were exported to European countries, which is more than 33% of Ukrainian grain exports. The largest importers of Ukrainian grains among European countries were Spain and the Netherlands. Also, significant volumes were exported to Italy and Germany”, notes the Association's Chairman of the Board.

Regarding grain prices in the world market, Oleg Kolomiiets notes that they will remain at the level of last year: “Through the whole previous season grain prices were kept at a rather high level, but decreased only in May of this year in anticipation of a new harvest. It is obvious that prices will be at about the same level this season, as adverse weather conditions were observed not only in European countries, which led to a decrease in grain production in other countries of the world. In particular, Pakistan, which is one of the largest grain exporters in the world, has banned the export of wheat and wheat flour for this season due to a decline in its own production. This, combined with adverse conditions in most grain producing countries, will affect prices and supply volumes in the global market. For example, despite the fact that the harvest is still ongoing, there is already a noticeable increase in demand for upper-class wheat in the Ukrainian market, which is accompanied by an increase in purchase prices for it (that have not yet reached last year's level).”

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