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Ukraine ups 2022 spring sowing area forecast to 14 million hectares

KYIV, April 15 (Reuters) - Ukraine's agriculture ministry on Friday revised up its forecast for the area to be sown to 2022 spring crops, giving no reason for the new outlook.

Around 14 million hectares of various grains, cereals, and oilseed might be sown this year, compared with the previous forecast of 13.4 million hectares, the ministry said in a report.

The acreage is still smaller than in 2021 due to hostilities in some Ukrainian regions cause by the Russian invasion. Ukraine sowed a total of 16.9 million hectares of spring crops in 2021.

Ukraine is a major global agriculture producer and exporter, but the Russian invasion since February is expected to lead to a sharp reduction in the 2022 harvest and exports in the forthcoming 2022/23 season.

The ministry said farmers had already started sowing spring wheat, barley, peas, sunflower, rape seed, sugar beet, and soybeans.

It said farmers had sown 146,400 hectares of spring wheat, 742,900 hectares of spring barley, 100,500 hectares of peas, 122,600 hectares of corn, 433,700 hectares of sunflower, 110,300 hectares of sugar beet and some other crops.

The ministry gave no exact expected sowing acreage for each commodity.

In the autumn, Ukraine also sowed 7.6 million hectares of winter grains, including 6.5 million hectares of winter wheat. The ministry said in March that around 4 million hectares of wheat could be harvested.

Analyst APK-Inform said Ukraine was likely to harvest 38.9 million tonnes of grain in 2022, almost 55% less than in 2021. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and David Evans)

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