Ukraine, one of the world’s leading wheat exporters, slashed its exports of the grain to an average 14,000 tonnes a day in April from 44,000 tonnes in March to ensure adequate domestic supplies, the economy ministry said on Tuesday.
Ukraine’s wheat harvest largely exceeds domestic consumption but last month Ukrainian bakers and millers asked the government to limit grain exports to maintain bread prices in the event of the coronavirus spreading after some nations considered export restrictions.
Last week the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture said it would control wheat exports, sell flour on the domestic market and agree with traders a maximum volume of wheat for export at 20.2 million tonnes.
“The domestic market is provided with wheat, export contracts are executed in accordance with the memorandum,” the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
It said Ukraine had already exported 17.9 million tonnes of wheat so far in the 2019/20 July-June season and an additional 2.3 million tonnes would be available for export by the end of the season.
Ukraine harvested 28.3 million tonnes of wheat in 2019 and its domestic consumption totalled 8.2 million tonnes.
APK-Inform agriculture consultancy said on Monday Ukrainian wheat exports from sea ports almost halved to 138,000 tonnes in the week of March 28-April 3 from 277,000 tonnes a week earlier.
But it also said that current wheat stocks could be exported by the end of April.