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The wheat and barley harvest is just about over in Ukraine, accelerated by the hot and dry conditions. As next door in Russia, yields are looking sharply lower on a combination of increased winterkill losses followed by premature ripening and heat damage.

The Ag Ministry report that 94% of the planted wheat area is cut, producing 16.93 MMT with yields averaging 2.82 MT/ha. In addition 96% of the nation's barley harvest is in producing only 8.95 MMT, with yields averaging 2.11 MT/ha.

Those figures suggest a final wheat crop no better than 18 MMT and a maximum barley output of 9.3 MMT. That would be a wheat crop 14% down on last year and a barley crop 21% lower than in 2009.

As the hot and dry weather continues the potential of the corn crop is now said to be going rapidly downhill too, with sunflowers also being adversely affected.