Ukraine to Boost Grain Exports to Saudi Arabia

March 13 (Bloomberg) -- Ukraine aims to almost double grain shipments to Saudi Arabia in two to three years, said Mykola Prysyazhnyuk, the Ukrainian agriculture minister.

Ukraine wants to boost shipments to around 7 million tons a year to Saudi Arabia compared with 3.5 million tons to 4 million tons now, Prysyazhnyuk told reporters today in the capital Kiev.

“We have government level agreement with Saudi Arabia on barley production and shipments,” the minister said, adding that there is concern a late spring may cut planned barley planting for the 2012 harvest.

“If temperatures rise rapidly, we will not be able to plant the amount of barley which we forecasted,” Prysyazhnyuk said. “We see on foreign markets that there is going to be demand for this crop.”

Farmers will probably plant spring barley on 800,000 hectares to 1 million hectares (1.98 million acres to 2.47 million acres), Leonid Sukhomlyn, head of the Agriculture Ministry’s grain department, said on Feb. 29.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kateryna Choursina in Moscow at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at