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  • By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

Drought in Ukraine to Cut Corn Crop by 10%; Threaten Next Year’s Rapeseed

Hot and dry weather across the majority of Ukraine is expected to cause a decline of at least 1 million tons, or 10% to this year’s corn crop, and may pose a threat to next year’s rapeseed crop.

Ukraine harvested 28.4 million tons of corn in 2014, and last month the country agriculture ministry forecasted a harvest of 26 million tons. But traders see corn output for the world’s fifth ranked producer falling to 23 million tons.

"This severe heat could cut the yield of maize by 5 to 20 percent, but most likely we will lose about 10 percent of the productivity or at least 1 million tons of grain," according to a large-scale foreign trader.

This drop in production is not expected to have any negative effects on the country’s exports however, which are predicted to total between 15 and 16 million tons this season, because of the offsetting effects of high ending stocks and a drop in domestic consumption.

The hot and dry weather is also posing challenges for winter rapeseed sowing which must be finished by the end of August. Unfavorable weather during last autumn’s sowing is also expected to reduce rapeseed output this year, with an expected harvest of 1.86 million tons compared to a previous estimate of 1.93 million tons, after a harvest of 2.2 million tons last season. As a result, Ukrainian rapeseed exports are expected to fall by 17.6% to 1.58 million tons in 2015/2016.

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