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Ukraine’s Sunflower Forecast Raised, UkrAgroConsult Says

April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Ukraine will plant 5.7 million hectares (14 million acres) of sunflowers for the 2012 harvest, or 8.6 percent more than last year, according to agricultural researcher UkrAgroConsult

That’s more than the government’s estimate of 4.5 million hectares and exceeds UkrAgroConsult’s February forecast of 5.3 million hectares, the Kiev-based researcher said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

Sunflower yields are seen at 1.68 tons per hectare, compared with 1.78 tons per hectare in 2011, due to low soil moisture levels, it said.

The country’s rapeseed crop will fall 32 percent to 959,000 tons from last year’s 1.42 million tons, the researcher said. The winter crop, which was hit by a drought in the autumn, will account for 835,000 tons, according to the statement.

The soybean harvest will rise 7.8 percent to 2.46 million tons this year, after a 14 percent increase in planting areas to 1.32 million hectares, UkrAgroConsult said. Yields may fall to 1.86 tons per hectare from 2.04 tons per hectare, the researcher said, without giving a reason.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kateryna Choursina in Kiev at kchoursina@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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