Ukraine increases planned area for 2022 spring sowing to 14 million hectares

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kyiv, April 15 (Reuters)On Friday, Ukraine’s Agriculture Ministry revised its forecast for the area to be sown for the 2022 spring crops upwards, giving no reason for the new outlook.

About 14 million hectares of various grains, cereals and oilseeds could be planted this year, compared to 13.4 million hectares previously forecast, the ministry said in a report.

The area is even smaller than in 2021 due to hostilities in some Ukrainian regions caused by the Russian invasion. Ukraine sowed a total of 16.9 million hectares of spring crops in 2021.

Ukraine is a major global producer and exporter of agricultural products, but the Russian invasion since February is expected to lead to a sharp reduction in the 2022 crop and exports in the upcoming 2022/23 season.

The ministry said farmers have already started planting spring wheat, barley, peas, sunflower, rapeseed, sugar beet and soybeans.

He said farmers planted 146,400 hectares of spring wheat, 742,900 hectares of spring barley, 100,500 hectares of peas, 122,600 hectares of maize, 433,700 hectares of sunflowers, 110,300 hectares of sugar beet and some other cultures.

The ministry did not provide an exact planned seeding area for each product.

In the fall, Ukraine also sowed 7.6 million hectares of winter cereals, including 6.5 million hectares of winter wheat. The ministry said in March that about 4 million hectares of wheat could be harvested.

Analyst APK-Inform said Ukraine is expected to harvest 38.9 million tonnes of grain in 2022, almost 55% less than in 2021.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and David Evans)

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