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Ukraine early grain sowing 51 pct complete

KIEV, April 16 (Reuters) - Ukrainian farmers have sown 1.2 million hectares of early spring grains or 51 percent of the total area as of April 16, the Agriculture Ministry said on Monday.

Farmers have sown 828,000 hectares of spring barley, 265,000 hectares of peas, 67,000 hectares of oats and 70,000 hectares of spring wheat, the ministry said in a statement.

Farmers plan to sow 7.4 million hectares of spring grains this year, including about 4.6 million hectares of maize, 1.6 million hectares of barley, 412,000 hectares of peas, 200,000 hectares of oats and 182,000 hectares of wheat.

Ukraine, the world's third-largest grain exporter, said the area covered by spring and winter grains would exceed 14 million hectares this year.

Weather forecasters have said current conditions are favourable for both spring and winter crops.

About 7.3 million hectares of spring grains were sown last year. The country's 2017 grains harvest totalled 61.3 million tonnes. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk Editing by Edmund Blair)

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