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Ukraine begins sugar beet, sunflower sowing: Agriculture Ministry




  • Farms in Ukraine’s southern regions have started sunflower and sugar beet sowing for 2013, two weeks later than last year, the Agriculture Ministry said on Thursday. Rains and snowfall covered almost all Ukrainian regions in late March, delaying sowing and raising concerns about this year’s harvest. 

    Ukrainian sugar producers’ union Ukrtsukor said earlier this month that the former Soviet republic was likely to reduce the area under sugar beet by 20-25 percent due to the overproduction of white sugar last year. The union said farms could sow 360,000 hectares for sugar beet in 2013 versus 450,000 hectares in 2012. It said that the optimum term of sugar beet sowing would expire on April 20. 

    Ukraine, which consumes 1.8 million tonnes of sugar per year, produced 2.2 million tonnes in 2012. It produced about 2.3 million tonnes of white sugar from beet in 2011. Ukraine, a major world exporter of sunflower oil, is likely to increase sunflower seed production by 11 percent in 2013 to 9.51 million tonnes due to higher yields, analyst said. UkrAgroConsult agriculture consultancy said last month that higher sunseed yields would be offset a decrease in the sowing area. It said farmers were likely to sow 5.3 million hectares of sunflower this year against 5.7 million hectares in 2012. 

    Copyright Reuters, 2013

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