War changes the structure of cultivated areas in Ukraine – the first official forecasts of the 2023 harvest

Source:  UkrAgroConsult

The autumn sowing of winter crops in 2022 and the current sowing of spring wedge crops give grounds for the first cautious forecasts for the 2023 harvest, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy reports.

The projected area of grain and industrial crops for the 2023 harvest in the territory controlled by Ukraine is 19.3 million hectares, which is actually comparable to the previous season’s figure of 19.8 million hectares. At the same time, the area of winter crops sown for the 2023 harvest was 1 million hectares less than in the previous season, while the area of spring crops is expected to increase by 556 thousand hectares.

The planted areas of grains and pulses are forecasted at 10240 thou hectares (-1409 thou hectares compared to 2022). Of these, winter wheat – 4166 thou hectares (-834 thou hectares), spring wheat – 285 thou hectares (+67 thou hectares), winter barley – 536 thou hectares (-255 thou hectares), spring barley – 1041 thou hectares (+111 thou hectares), corn – 3618 thou hectares (-451 thou hectares).

In contrast to cereals, the planted areas under the main types of oilseeds are expected to increase, namely: sunflower – 5641 thou hectares (+ 476 thou hectares), rapeseed – 1374 thou hectares (+ 110 thou hectares), soybeans – 1841 thou hectares (+ 334 thou hectares).

Also, the planted areas under sugar beet are expected to increase to 220 thou hectares against 180 thou hectares last season.

The decrease in the area under grain crops, together with the projected decrease in average yields caused by rising prices of key inputs, will affect the harvest volumes. Thus, the total gross harvest of grains and pulses in the season 2023 may reach 44.3 mln tonnes, compared to the previous figure of 53.1 mln tonnes. In particular, the harvest of wheat is expected to reach 16.6 mln tonnes (20.5 mln tonnes in 2022), barley – 4.8 mln tonnes (5.6 mln tonnes), corn – 21.7 mln tonnes (25.6 mln tonnes).

At the same time, the gross production of oilseeds is expected to increase to 19.2 mln tons, up from 18.2 mln tons in the previous year. The harvest of sunflower is forecasted at 11.5 million tons (11.1 million tons), rapeseed – 3.8 million tons (3.7 million tons), soybeans – 3.9 million tons (3.4 million tons). Also, sugar beet production is expected to increase to 11.3 million tons (9.7 million tons).

It should be noted that these forecasts for gross harvest are preliminary and will be adjusted during the year depending on circumstances, primarily weather conditions.

Further development of the Black Sea and global grain and oilseeds markets will be discussed by UkrAgroConsult analysts and leading agribusiness operators at the EURO GRAIN HUB Exchange & Forum on April 26-28 in Bucharest, Romania.  Join the key stakeholders from the Black Sea region, Central & Eastern Europe and Balkans, contributing to the global commodity supply chain.

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