Ukraine Grain Harvest Seen 27-29 Pct Lower

With its harvest now underway, the Ukraine will produce only around 38-39 MMT of grain in clean weight this season, according to various private estimates. That's a reduction of around 27-29% on last season's bumper crop of 53.3 MMT.

Alexei Blinov, economist at Astrum Investment Management, forecasts that output this season will come in at 'nearly 38 MMT' according to media reports. Local growers had only limited access to financial resources from the beginning of the credit crisis and have used significantly lower volumes of mineral fertilizers compared to 2008, he said.

The nation's grain crop was also hit by sharp frosts in April, which led the government to reduce the official estimate for this season's grain crop to 42-43 MMT at the beginning of the month, from it's earlier estimate of 48 MMT, warning that this revised figure was not final and that further downward revisions were likely.

Now that these eastern European countries are harvesting, or about to start, it is interesting to note that production estimates are suddenly getting cut quite sharply.