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Ukraine Says It Has No Plans to Restrict Grain Shipments

Ukraine will continue to export grains and has no plans to impose restrictions, Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk said, after shipments declined this month.

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov’s government asked grain traders last week to restrict wheat exports after drought damage to winter plantings in the autumn was aggravated by weeks of freezing temperatures. Ukraine will have to replant half of its winter grain areas in the spring, according to Azarov.

“Export of grain has been stalled in February,” Prysyazhnyuk told reporters today in Kiev. “We do not plan any limits so far.” The country’s grain exports fell 5.5 percent in the first 13 days of February to 469,000 metric tons compared with a month earlier, Kiev-based agricultural researcher UkrAgroConsult said in an e-mailed statement.

February exports included 86,500 tons of wheat that went to Italy, Jordan and Israel. Ukraine also shipped 374,000 tons of corn to Egypt, Morocco and Israel, UkrAgroConsult said. About 1.37 million tons of grain will be shipped from Ukrainian ports in the near future, the researcher added, including 364,000 tons of wheat, 953,000 tons of corn and 48,000 tons of barley.

The Agriculture Ministry cut its grain export forecast for the marketing year, which started on July 1, to 23 million to 24 million tons from 26 million to 27 million tons, Serhiy Kvasha, head of the agriculture markets department, said on Dec. 5.

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