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Ukraine's grain exports down 54.5% so far in 2022/23 - ministry

KYIV, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Ukraine's grain exports are down 54.5% year-on-year in the 2022/23 season so far at 4.16 million tonnes, the agriculture ministry said on Friday.

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 2.59 million tonnes of corn, 1.19 million tonnes of wheat and 361,000 tonnes of barley.

The volumes include 195,000 tonnes of grain exported so far in September versus 514,000 tonnes exported in the same period of last year.

The government has said Ukraine could harvest at least 50 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 Jan Harvey)

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