Ukraine becomes world's third biggest grain exporter in 2011 - minister
Upon the results of 2011, Ukraine became one of the world's three biggest grain exporter countries, Ukrainian Minister of Agricultural Policy and Food Nikolai Prisyazhnyuk said on Wednesday.
In his words, "Ukraine become the world leader in terms of barley export, and ranked sixth in terms of wheat supplies to foreign states."
Besides, the country can report not only the hike of grain export, but also other sorts of food, the minister said, adding, "We are leading exporters of sunflower oil. We ranked second in terms of its production and third in terms of sunflower seed production."
According to the ministry, Ukraine has exported 9.65 million tonnes of grain since the beginning of the new marketing year (from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012), Prisyazhnyuk said, adding that the indicator is 2.86 million tonnes than in the previous marketing year.
In all, Ukraine's agricultural supplies went up by 30 percent over six months to exceed 10 billion U.S. dollars, while the foreign trade surplus neared 4.8 billion U.S. dollars, the minister said.
"These achievements allow us to make upward forecasts pertaining further development of Ukraine as an agricultural country," Prisyazhnyuk said.
"While bringing into comparison the grain yield and gross harvest of the aforesaid plants with average indicators in the EU states, we can say that Ukraine has a potential in order to almost double agricultural output in the near future," he said, adding, "The agricultural production will make it possible to guarantee the country's food security and may be exported to the global markets."
In 2011, Ukraine's farmers harvested 56.7 million tonnes of grain in the bunker weight (before cleaning and drying), which is 44.3 percent more than in 2010, Prisyazhnyuk said.
Herein, an average grain yield amounted to 3,800 kilograms per hectare. "The country hit its record high over many years," the minister said earlier, adding that corn yield reached 6,400 kilograms per hectares, which is about 30 percent more than in 2010.
In 2010, Ukraine's grain harvest decreased by 14.7 percent, as compared to 2009, and totalled 39.27 million tonnes, Prisyazhnyuk said.
Over the years of independence, Ukraine gathered the biggest grain harvest (53.29 million tonnes) in 2008, he reaffirmed.
At the end of 2011, the minister stated that Ukraine may export up to 27 million tonnes of grain in the 2011-2012 marketing year. Under preliminary estimates of the Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food, which were published earlier, the country could export about 20-25 million tonnes of train in the above-mentioned period.
In the previous marketing year, Ukraine supplied abroad seven million tonnes of grain.
According to official data, Ukraine's domestic food grain demand is estimated at seven million tonnes, the minister said.