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KYIV, March 9 (Reuters) - Ukrainian grain harvest may fall 37% to 34 million tonnes in 2023 because of a smaller grain sowing area and lower yield, Ukraine's national academy of agricultural science said on Thursday.
The scientists also said a possibly larger area under oilseeds could cause a 13% rise in Ukraine's oilseed harvest, which they said could reach 19.3 million tonnes.
The scientists said in a report that according to preliminary estimates, Ukraine, which was invaded by Russia a year ago, would face a 45% reduction in the grain-planting area compared to the 2021 level.
"The reasons for this reduction include a decrease in all sown areas, a change in the structure of crops and a decrease in grain yields," it said, noting that the expected grain yield may decline by 15-30% compared to the average levels of previous years.
"As a result, the forecasted gross grain harvest in 2023 may reach 34 million tonnes, which is 37% less than in 2022 and 60% less than in 2021," the scientists said.
The government has not issued its 2023 grain harvest forecast.
The 2022 grain harvest fell to around 54 million tonnes from a record 86 million in 2021. Output was hit by hostilities in Ukraine's eastern, northern and southern regions following Russia's invasion.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, Editing by Timothy Heritage)
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