Ukraine’s yield outlook ‘fair’ but planted area slashed

According to the EU's crop monitoring service, Ukrainian planted area and production expectations are reduced following the Russian invasion and dry weather conditions

The European Union’s crop monitoring service (MARS) has focused on Ukraine’s yield outlooks in its monthly update on the country and warned that the impact of the Russian invasion and dry weather conditions have reined in both planted area and production expectations.

The country’s government has warned that up to 20% of the available planted area has been under Russian occupation – the report shows that mixed weather experiences have also marked production.

Nonetheless, yields were described as ‘fair’, with sunflower yields even projected to come in at above the five-year average.

While the north of the country suffered too much rain, the southern region stretching from Odesa into the regions around Kherson – which has reported intense fighting since the invasion began – has suffered drought conditions.

Much of the rest of the country has seen a deficit in water. Only the east of the country escaped significant impact to its production, despite reporting higher temperatures.

Production outlook

The MARS report expects production to decline year on year in all categories except rapeseed and soybeans, both of which are set to see year-on-year increases in both planted area and yield outlooks, the agency forecast.

Of all Ukraine’s primary production, only rapeseed is expected to see an increase in the planted area versus the five-year average as farmers look to capitalize on low-input planting.

At 1.4 million hectares, Ukraine’s rapeseed planting is up 35% versus the five-year average and 41% versus the previous marketing year.

Yield is expected to reach 2.74 tonnes per hectare, up 4% against the five-year average but down 7% against 2021, while production is expected to jump 31% year-on-year to 3.8 million tonnes.

While an increased yield will offset losses to the planted area, overall sunseed production is still expected to decline, according to the EU.

Production was estimated at 13.9 million tonnes, down 15% year-on-year, but only 2% down versus the five-year average.

That was based on a smaller planted area, decreasing by 16% year-on-year to 5.6 million hectares, and an increased yield, which was estimated at 2.5 tonnes per hectare, up 1% on 2021 and 9% on the five-year average.

Wheat, barley and corn

For the main cash crops, wheat, barley and corn, production, yield and planted area are all expected to slide.

At 6.5 million hectares, the wheat area is down 8% year-on-year, while a 12% decline in yield to 4 tonnes per hectare means production is expected to ease to 26.2 million tonnes – down 18%.

Barley was expected to report double-digit declines versus the previous year, with production at 6.8 million tonnes (down 28%) based on an area of 1.99 million hectares (down 19%) and a yield of 3.4 tonnes per hectare (down 11%).

Finally, the yield for corn is expected to reach just over 7 tonnes per hectare, up 4% based against the five-year average, but down 8% versus 2021.

That led to a planted area of 4.5 million hectares, down 17% year-on-year and 9% against the five-year average, with production tipped at 33.7 million tonnes.

Last year’s production, a record, was set at just over 42 million tonnes, while the five-year average stands at 33.7 million tonnes.

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