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UPDATE 1-Ukraine's 2022 grain crop seen falling to 52.5-55.4 mln T -APK-Inform

(Adds more data, comments, details)

By Pavel Polityuk

KYIV, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Ukraine's 2022 grain harvest could decrease to between 52.5 million and 55.4 million tonnes from a record 86 million tonnes due to the Russian invasion which has cut the harvested area, analyst APK-Inform said on Wednesday.

The consultancy said in a report that the harvest could include up to 18.2 million tonnes of wheat, 29.9 million tonnes of corn and 5.9 million tonnes of barley.

It said a smaller harvest could cut 2022/23 July-June exports to between 22.9 and 39.6 million tonnes depending on the scale of logistics difficulties.

The government has forecast the harvest at around 50 million tonnes this year but not given an export outlook.

Earlier this week it said exports of key Ukrainian agricultural commodities had fallen by almost half since the start of Russia's invasion on Feb. 24 compared to the same period in 2021.

"Under an optimistic scenario, grain production in Ukraine is expected at the level of 55.4 million tonnes. If the harvesting areas under grain are further reduced amid mass shelling and arson more significantly, the grain harvest may decrease to 52.5 million tonnes," APK-Inform said.

The consultancy said the wheat harvest could range between 17.4 million and 18.2 million tonnes, with exports in the July-June season totaling 6.8 million to 12.7 million tonnes.

All of Ukraine's seaports, key for agricultural exports, were blocked by what Russia refers to as its "special military operation" in the country, but shipments resumed in late July under a deal between Moscow and Kyiv brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.

Ukraine has said its exports can reach 4 million tonnes a month in the near future but this volume is significantly lower than the 6 million tonnes shipped before the war.

APK-Inform also said that Ukraine, the world biggest sunflower oils producer and exporter, is likely to cut its sunseed harvest to no more than 10.7 million tonnes in 2022 from 16.6 million in 2021.

The drop will cause a fall in sunflower oil production to 3.5 million tonnes in the worst case scenario for 2022/23 from an expected 4.97 million tonnes in the 2021/22 season.

Under a "optimistic" scenario, the consultancy forecasts output of 5 million tonnes.

Sunoil exports will also depend on logistics and production and can vary between 3.1 and 4.69 million tonnes, analysts say. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Toby Chopra, Kirsten Donovan)

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