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Ukraine's grain exports down 43% so far in 2022/23 -ministry

KYIV, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Ukraine's grain exports are down 43.2% year on year in the 2022/23 season so far at 6.88 million tonnes, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday.

The country's grain exports have slumped since the start of war in February because its Black Sea ports, a key route for shipments, were closed off, driving up global food prices and prompting fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East.

Three Black Sea ports were unblocked at the end of July under a deal between Moscow and Kyiv, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.

Ministry data showed that exports so far in the July 2022 to June 2023 season included 3.95 million tonnes of corn, 2.30 million tonnes of wheat and 598,000 tonnes of barley.

The government has said Ukraine could harvest 50-52 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 Jason Neely)

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