Grains Council Outlines Grain Trade Realities Given Events in Ukraine
U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight says the events in Ukraine will have a direct impact on U.S. farmers in the international marketplace. According to the Council - Ukraine reported a record corn harvest in the 2013-14 marketing year of more than 1.2-billion bushels. In February - USDA projected exports for the year would reach 728-million bushels. Grains Council Regional Director for the Middle East and Africa Cary Sifferath estimates approximately 591-million bushels of that has already been shipped - leaving roughly 138-million bushels in projected exports between now and June. The impact of the current turmoil on this is uncertain. Sifferath says ports are open and vessels are loading - but shipments are becoming increasingly difficult. He says farmers are holding grain to hedge against a devaluing currency. While the Council hopes for a peaceful and speedy resolution of Ukraine's crisis - Sifferath says the instability is creating opportunities for additional U.S. exports to North Africa, the Middle East and China. Sleight says the economic instability will affect Ukranian farmers looking to plant this year's corn crop - as corn planting is due to start in the next 30 to 45 days. He says the Council will continue to monitor this situation closely.
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