Astarta Holding cut hopes for grains harvest, and lopped 20% from its hopes for sugar beet output, as the Ukrainian farming giant revealed it had fallen foul of the “negative” weather which has dented national yields.
The dairy-to-soybean processing group, which this season sowed crops on 236,000 hectares, cut by 100,000 tonnes to 600,000 tonnes its forecast for it grain and oilseed harvests.
Wheat yields, at “approximately” 4 tonnes per hectare, had fallen by nearly 11% year on year, although they remain higher than the national average, pegged by Ukraine’s farm ministry two weeks ago at 2.90 tonnes per hectare, a decline of 15.7%.
For sugar beet, Astarta, Ukraine’s top sugar producer, cut its forecast for the crop by 500,000 tonnes to 2m tonnes.
'Extremely dry and hot'
The downgrades reflected weather that was “negative” for the group’s farmers in eastern Ukraine, “as the summer months of June and July were extremely dry and hot.
"Drought in eastern and southern Ukraine affected the harvest in our fields in the Poltava and Kharkiv regions."
The comments follow a second drought-hit season for Black Sea grain production in three years, with Ukraine’s wheat harvest estimated by the country’s farm ministry at falling 27% to 16.3m tonnes.
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