Ukraine softens stance on wheat export ban

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Ukraine is softening its stance on banning wheat exports starting Nov. 15, as it has previously announced. Drought and high temperatures reduced wheat yields this year. Ukraine’s Agriculture Ministry announced it would consider all “necessary measures” if the country’s wheat stocks fell to a critical level.

“We will apply the necessary measures if a critical shortage of food grain appears,” Interfax Ukraine news agency quoted Ivan Bisyuk as saying. “At the present moment, we see no critical state with food grains.”

Last week, the ministry announced it would allow traders to fill all existing wheat export contracts, which totaled about 5.4 million tonnes. So far this season, Ukraine has exported 4.06 million tonnes.  Earlier in October, the ministry said the country could export at least 5.5 million tonnes of wheat this season.

Although the country has backed off of a full ban by Nov. 15, it now looks like some limits will be imposed because Ukraine will not be able to keep up its exporting pace.

Traders have said the Farm Ministry promised to not to impose any export limits until Dec. 1. It is believed that the country can export 5.5 million tonnes without threatening its domestic market.

Ukraine has harvested 15.5 million tonnes of wheat in 2012 and consumes 12 million tonnes per season.

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