Ukraine Spring Planting Progress Lags

Ice, snow and the general late arrival of a spring thaw have restricted fieldwork activity in Ukraine, according to the Ag Ministry.

Spring grain planting has only been completed on around 2.6 million ha of land as at April 12th, they said. This time last year 4.4 million ha of spring plantings had been completed.

That means that only 62% of the planned area has so far managed to get into the ground compared with 96% in 2009.

Spring wheat planting is particularly late, with only 55% of the planned area seeded so far, they added.

A shortened growing cycle could obviously potentially cut yields this season.

A combination of a hard winter, low prices and reduced inputs due to a lack of credit will see grain production in the Black Sea region (Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan) fall to 148.9-156.9 MMT, down from 163.3 MMT in 2010, say UkrAgroConsult.

The wheat harvest in the region will amount to 87.5-91.5 MMT, down 8-12% from 99.6 MMT in 2009, whilst corn output will rise from 16 MMT to 17.2-17.9 MMT, they say.