Ukraine's 2023 grain and oilseed crop forecast raised to 80.5 mln tons- union


Adds wheat, corn, sunseed harvest details, export outlook

KYIV, Sept 4 (Reuters) - The forecast for the combined grain and oilseeds 2023 harvest outlook for Ukraine has been increased by 3.7 million metric tons to 80.5 million tons, grain traders union UGA said on Monday.

"The increase in this year's harvest forecast is due to favourable weather conditions and better-than-expected crop yields," UGA said in a statement.

The harvest is likely to include 28 million tons of corn, 22 million tons of wheat, 5.8 million tons of barley, 13.9 million tons of sunflower seeds, 4.1 million tons of rapeseed and 4.8 million tons of soybeans, UGA said.

The farm ministry saw the grain harvest at 56.4 million tons for the year, compared with 55.3 million tons in 2022.

UGA said Ukraine's combined exportable surplus of grain and oilseed can total 49 million tons in the 2023/24 July-June season, versus 58 million tons in 2022/23.

"UGA emphasises that such export volumes in the new season can only be achieved if Ukraine is able to export through its Black Sea ports, as well as if the logistics of alternative routes, including the Danube route, are improved and cheaper," it said.

However, the Danube has become Ukraine's main route for exporting grain since July, when Russia quit a U.N. and Turkey-brokered deal that had given safe passage to Kyiv's exports of grains, oilseeds and vegetables oils via the Black Sea.

A Russian drone strike on a Ukrainian grain exporting port damaged warehouses and set buildings on fire on Monday.

The attack on the Danube River port of Izmail, in Ukraine's southern Odesa region, hit warehouses and production buildings, and debris from drones that were shot down set ablaze several civilian infrastructure buildings, the regional governor said.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Alex Richardson and Mike Harrison)

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