Harvests of Wheat and Barley in Ukraine Collapsed by More Than 40%

Ukraine’s 2022 grain harvest, laboring under Russia’s invasion and subsequent loss of harvested land could fall to between 52.5 million and 55.4 million tonnes from 84.8 million tonnes prior to the war. The data on the agriculture consultancy APK-Inform report cited by Reuters reports the same. 

The consultancy said in a report that the harvest could include up to 18.2 million tonnes of wheat, 29.9 million tonnes of corn, and 5.9 million tonnes of barley. APK-Inform said a smaller harvest could cut 2022-23 July-June exports to between 22.9 million and 39.6 million tonnes, depending on the scale of logistics difficulties. 

The Ukrainian government has forecasted the harvest at 50 million tonnes this year but had not provided an export outlook. 

“Under an optimistic scenario, grain production in Ukraine is expected at the level of 55.4 million tonnes,” APK-Inform said. “If the harvesting areas under grain are further reduced amid mass shelling and arson more significantly, the grain harvest may decrease to 52.5 million tonnes.” 

Ukraine is one of the world’s top agricultural producers and plays a critical role in supplying grains and oilseeds to the global market. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) noted Ukraine’s production in 2021-22 reached 33 million tonnes of wheat, 41.9 million tonnes of corn, and 9.9 million tonnes of barley for a total of 84.8 million tonnes. 

Ukrainian grain exports in the first 17 days of October were just 2.4 percent lower than in the same period of 2021 despite the closure of several seaports and the Russian invasion as depicted by the data released by the Ukrainian Agricultural Ministry. 

The country’s grain exports have slumped since February as the war closed off Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, driving up global food prices and prompting fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East.

Impacts of the Conflict 

Last year, Russia and Ukraine accounted for almost 30 percent of the global trade in wheat. Because of the war, Ukraine’s wheat production for the marketing year 2022/23 is projected to be 19.5 million metric tons, down 13.5 million tons (-41 percent) from last year. 

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) includes estimated output from Crimea. Harvest began at the end of June and will continue until mid-August. Russian Wheat Production is expected to be 81.5 million tons, up 6.3 million tons (8 percent) from last year. The total harvested area is projected to be 27.8 million hectares, up 1 percent from last year. 

Uncertainty resulting from the Ukraine-Russia conflict created an opportunity for Canada to increase its role in global production. Canada had a 4 percent share of global wheat production before 2021. In 2021, Canada accounted for 7.7 percent of total global exports. 

USDA estimates for the next marketing year project Canada’s export share increasing to 12 percent of global volume. Canada’s wheat production for the marketing year 2022/23 stands at 34 million tons, up 12.4 million tons (57 percent) from last year. The harvested area is estimated at 10 million hectares, up 8 percent from last year. 


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