Commodities

Ukraine not planning new wheat exports curbs for now, says minister

Credit: REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO

Ukraine's government is not considering further intervention in wheat exports at this stage but could do so later in the season if the pace of exports remained too fast, Taras Kachka, deputy minister for agriculture, told Reuters on Wednesday.

By mid-November, the Black Sea country had shipped 52% of an annual export volume agreed last month with the grain sector of 25.3 million tonnes for the 2021/22 (July/June) season, Kachka said on the sidelines of the Global Grain conference in Geneva.

Ukraine traditionally exports wheat mostly in the first half of the season before its pace of exports falls sharply when exporters turn to other origins.

"The calendar of shipping is changing due to demand but we are not worried," said Kachka, who is also deputy minister for economic development and trade.

When the volume of the export quota is about to be reached the government can start considering export limits but Ukraine would prefer not to restrict exports unlike Russia, which has imposed an export tax, he said.

The government could clear extra exports of 100,000 to 200,000 tonnes and could use public stocks before considering imposing export restrictions, he said.

"But if the export tempo remains the same, if 90% of the quota is exported by March for example, then we will need to go in daily discussions with traders," Kachka said.

"We want to be open to the highest possible level of exports but of course not at the cost of domestic consumption," he said. "Our population is not wealthy enough to support high prices."

(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Gus Trompiz and Edmund Blair)

((gus.trompiz@thomsonreuters.com; +33 1 49 49 52 18; Reuters Messaging: gus.trompiz.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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