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01/03/12 -- The Ukraine Ministry say that spring grain plantings will increase 22% to 9.5 million ha this year, by virtue of heavier than normal winter losses. The overall harvested area is expected to be around the same as last year at 15.5 million ha.

What does this mean for production? Around 4.5-5.0 million ha of winter wheat is said to have survived the winter, and spring plantings of wheat will rise by 100,000 ha to 400,000 ha, they say - giving us an overall wheat area of 4.9-5.4 million ha. Using a three year average yield of 3.0 MT/ha that potentially gives us a wheat crop of around 15-16 MMT in 2012 - a decrease in the region of 30 percent on last year, give or take.

Corn is expected to be sown on 4.5-5.0 million ha this year, they say. That's an increase of around 30-40 percent on 2011. A 3-year average yield of 5.3 MT/ha would give us a corn crop of around 24-26 MMT in 2012, beating last season's record crop by 1.5-3.5 MMT.

Some 800,000 to 1 million ha of winter barley has survived the winter and spring plantings are expected to increase from 2.7 million to 3 million ha. That means we could end up with a barley crop of around 9 MMT in 2012 - similar to last season.

So there we have it, very roughly, around 6-7 MMT less wheat, 2-3 MMT more corn and the same volume of barley. Always read the label, terms and conditions apply.