Ukraine faces showdown over rapid wheat exports
Ukraine’s government faces a showdown with grain traders after wheat exports exceeded one-half of the annual permitted level in three months – but, thanks to a weak harvest, barley shipments look set to avoid the same issue.
Ukraine’s wheat exports hit 2.5m tonnes in the July-to-September period, the first three months of 2012-13, for which traders and the government have agreed a limit of 4m tonnes for the whole year.
The pace of shipments, up 58% year on year, means “changes… in the near future” for Ukraine’s wheat trade, said UkrAgroConsult, which estimates at 32% the slump in domestic production of the grain this year which prompted the curbs on exports.
“Either the wheat export limit in the memorandum will be revised upward, or the government will take some steps to curb exports,” the Kiev-based consultancy said.
In fact, the agreement between traders and officials stipulated that they launch a new round of talks when exports hit 80% of the agreed limit, or 4.0m tonnes, although the course of Ukraine governmental matters is complicated by the prospect of parliamentary elections on October 28.