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Ukraine's grain exports down 46% so far in 2022/23, says ministry

KYIV, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Ukraine's grain exports are down 45.6% year-on-year in the 2022/23 season so far at 6.364 million tonnes, the agriculture ministry said on Monday.

The country's grain exports have slumped since the start of the war 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.

The ministry data showed that exports so far in the July 2022 to June 2023 season included 3.72 million tonnes of corn, 2.06 million tonnes of wheat and 557,000 tonnes of barley.

The data showed that the pace of grain exports had risen so far in September but volumes were still well below last season's levels.

Ukraine exported 2.07 million tonnes of grain in the first 19 days of September, 29.4% less than in the same period in 2021. Exports were 34% less in Sept. 1-13 and 40% in Sept. 1-7.

The government has said Ukraine could harvest 50-52 million tonnes of grain this year, compared with a record 86 million tonnes in 2021, because of the loss of land to Russian forces and lower grain yields. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk Editing by Gareth Jones)

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