Analyst Cuts Black Sea Grain Crop Estimates due to Ukraine’s Unrest
Conditions escalated recently as Ukraine’s president on Monday, April 14 threatened military action against pro-Russian activists occupying government buildings, and financing is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain among two of the world’s leading grain exporters. Agritel lowered its combined estimate for Ukraine’s and Russia’s maize crop by 3.9 million tons to 33.1 million tons – 14.2% lower than 2013. For Ukraine alone, maize output is expected to be 17.6% lower than last year. In addition to rising political concerns in the region, dry weather is also affecting winter crops and if the dry weather continues, farmers may adjust the spring planting downward. The rainfall deficit has reached 50% over the last six months in key winter crop producing regions and there is no rainfall predicted for the next 15 days. Agritel cut its estimates for Ukraine’s wheat crop by 1.6 million tons to 18.4 million tons – 16.5% lower than 2013 and lowered its barley estimate for Ukraine and Russia combined by 4% to 25.4 million tons. Russia’s wheat crop is estimated to drop 7.8% from 2013 to equal 48.1 million tons.
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