Black Sea Awash With Grain

Ukraine has raised its grain export forecast for '08-09 to 17.5 million tonnes from 15 million tonnes previously. This amount is 4.7 times greater than the country's '07-08 exports of 3.7 million tonnes.

Latest estimates peg the Ukraine grain crop in the region of 43-47 million tonnes, up sharply from 29 million tonnes in 2007.

Favourable weather also boosted Bulgaria's 2008 wheat crop to a 16-year high, opening the way for hefty exports, Agriculture Minister Valeri Tsvetanov said.

"Bumper crops are also reported in Russia and Romania. The Black Sea countries are awash with grain and will be very aggressive exporters in the coming season," said a German trader.