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Ukraine's 2022 grain crop 81% complete at 39.1 mln T, ministry says

KYIV, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Ukrainian farms had harvested 39.1 million tonnes of grain from 81% of the expected area as of Nov. 17, the agriculture ministry said on Friday.

The ministry said in a statement farmers had harvested 9 million hectares of crops, with the grain yield averaging 4.34 tonnes per hectare.

It said farmers had completed the 2022 wheat and barley harvests, threshing 19.4 million and 5.6 million tonnes respectively.

The total volume also included 12.3 million tonnes of corn, harvested from 50% of the expected area with a yield of 5.81 tonnes per hectare.

In 2021, Ukraine harvested 32.2 million tonnes of wheat and 9.4 million tonnes of barley. The ministry has said a fall in output in 2022 was caused by hostilities in the country's eastern, northern and southern regions.

Ukraine sowed more than 6 million hectares of winter wheat for the 2022 harvest, but a large area was occupied during Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and only 4.7 million hectares were harvested in Ukrainian-controlled territory.

The ministry said farmers also harvested 9.8 million tonnes of sunflower seeds from 96% of the planted area, and 7.9 million tonnes of sugar beet from 90% of the sown area.

The government has said Ukraine could harvest between 50 million and 52 million tonnes of grain this year, down from a record 86 million tonnes in 2021, because of the loss of land to Russian forces and lower yields. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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