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Ukraine is facing a production crisis

Украйна е изправена пред производствена криза
Ukraine could harvest its smallest wheat crop in 12 years next summer as arable land continues to shrink, Argus Media said.

In an initial forecast for next year's crop, Argus estimated Ukrainian wheat production at 20.2 million tonnes, down from the 22.2 million harvested this year.

That would be well below the average of 25.9 million tonnes over the previous five years and would mark the lowest output since 2012, the report said.

Cereal sowing in Ukraine has decreased significantly since the start of the war, as on the one hand Kiev has lost control over part of its territory, and on the other - farmers have reoriented themselves to more profitable oil crops.

Argus clarified that its forecast is based on an expected fall in wheat area for Ukraine to 4.55 million hectares, compared to this year's 4.65 million hectares.

Average wheat yields were forecast at 4.43 tonnes per hectare, down from this year's level but above the five-year average, the Argus said, citing improved growing conditions after a dry start to the campaign.

At the same time, Russia is banning durum wheat exports until May 31, 2024 in an effort to improve its food security and stabilize domestic durum wheat commodity prices.

The regulation has been in force since December 11, the government's website confirmed. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed the order to implement the ban, according to Russian news agency Interfax.

Exceptions to the ban include shipments for global humanitarian aid or global intergovernmental agreements. Exports to South Ossetia and Abkhazia in the South Caucasus region, as well as grain sent "as supplies", are also permitted.

Countries in the Eurasian Economic Union, which include Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, will also be eligible for supplies if they have permits from the Ministry of Agriculture.

According to Russia's Ministry of Agriculture, global durum wheat harvests have reached a "20-year low in most producing countries", leading to a surge in demand for the product.

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