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17/10/12 -- The Ukraine Ministry say that this year's grain harvest is 89% complete, producing 38.5 MMT so far. Average yields are 2.93 MT/ha versus 3.38 MT/ha this time last year, a drop of 13% year-on-year although a little better than 14% down a fortnight ago.

The corn harvest is ongoing, disrupted by rain, at 65% complete producing 12.25 MMT so far. That suggests a final crop of around 19 MMT, which is 2 MMT below the current USDA estimate.

The sunflower harvest is also winding down at 95% complete producing a crop of 7.5 MMT to date.

Whilst rains may be hindering the harvest, they will help get what has already been sown get off to a much better start than a year ago when crops were planted ahead of winter dormancy under bone dry conditions.

The Ministry say that 89% of the planned area has been seeded to date, including 6.21 million hectares of winter wheat (94% of the expected) and 0.75 million hectares of winter barley (62% of plan).

That would suggest a winter wheat area of around 6.6 million hectares for the 2013 harvest, around the same as was sown last year, although heavy winter losses cut the harvested area by around a million hectares, according to the USDA.

Spring barley typically accounts for over 90% of the national barley crop, whereas spring wheat normally only accounts for around 5% of Ukraine's wheat output.