(Updates with traders limiting wheat purchases in fourth paragraph.)
Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Ukraine’s grain exports fell to about 600,000 metric tons in the first 15 days of this month, the country’s Agrarian Confederation said.
“Grain exports from Ukraine shrank sharply in February” because of freezing weather and after the government asked traders to slow wheat shipments, Sergey Stoianov, director of the producers group, said today on its website. That compares with 1.9 million tons of grain exports in the whole of January.
Wheat shipments were less than 100,000 tons in the first 15 days of this month, Stoianov said, compared with 540,000 tons in the whole of last month, according to the confederation’s data.
Traders have stopped buying milling wheat at elevators inside Ukraine, agricultural researcher APK-Inform said yesterday on its website. That was a reaction to an Agriculture Ministry request to limit exports until it’s clear how much winter wheat will be lost to unfavorable weather, Dnipropetrovsk-based APK-Inform said. Traders complied with the request because they were concerned that the government might impose export restrictions if they didn’t do so, APK said.
The Agriculture Ministry asked traders last week to limit wheat shipments after freezing temperatures endangered winter grains, already weakened by the worst drought in at least 50 years in 2011.
--Editors: John Deane, Sharon Lindores
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