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Ukraine Seeking to Export Corn to U.S., Farm Ministry Says

Ukraine is seeking to export corn to the U.S., where this year’s harvest was reduced by the worst drought in half a century, Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk said.

“This would be a very important confirmation that our product has quality and meets all standards,” Prysyazhnyuk told reporters in Kiev today. Ukraine is trying to agree with the U.S. on sanitary standards at the moment, he said.

The eastern European nation increased corn plantings for the 2012 harvest by 26 percent to 4.4 million hectares, government data show. Ukraine will ship abroad about 12 million tons of corn in the year ending Aug. 31, Prysyazhnyuk said last month. The worst drought in the U.S. since 1956 reduced this year’s harvest, sending corn and soybean prices to records.

Ukraine will increase corn plantings by 5 percent to 7 percent next year, the Agriculture Minister said today. “It is economically more expedient to grow corn rather than barley,” Prysyazhnyuk said.

Winter barley areas fell this year to 1.1 million hectares from 1.3 million hectares last year, he said. Spring barley plantings will be the same as a year ago, he said.

Corn stockpiles in Ukraine declined as of Dec. 1 to 11.2 million metric tons from 13.9 million tons a year earlier, government data show. Grain stockpiles declined by 27 percent to 21.4 million tons and also included 6.5 million tons of wheat and 2.1 million tons of barley.

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