Facebook Blogging

Edward Hugh has a lively and enjoyable Facebook community where he publishes frequent breaking news economics links and short updates. If you would like to receive these updates on a regular basis and join the debate please invite Edward as a friend by clicking the Facebook link at the top of the right sidebar.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ukraine Grain Exports To Triple

Ukraine, which is the world's second-largest barley exporter,has said it expects overseas grain sales to triple in the marketing year that starts next month, easing two years of curbs caused by drought and record prices. Exports are expected to rise to between 13.5 million and 14 million metric tons in the 12 months starting July 1, compared with 3.7 million tons this year, according to Agriculture Minister Yuriy Melnyk in Kiev today. The grain harvest will be in the region of 37 percent to 40 million metric tons, after favorable weather, he said.

Of the 40 million-ton harvest, half will be wheat, 9 million tons barley and 9 million tons corn, the minister said. Melnyk reiterated that grain exports would continue to be subject to state-set limits.

Ukraine is expected to export 4 million tons of barley in the year ending September 2009, up from 1.7 million tons this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts. That ranks equal with Australia but behind the European Union. The Ukrainian agricultural ministry set forecasts today of 50 million metric tones of grain harvest for the next two to three years.

Ukraine's wheat exports in the year ending June 2009 will be 6 million tons, compared with 700,000 tons this year, the USDA estimates. Corn exports in the year ending September 2009 will be 2.5 million tons, from 1 million tons this year.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Ukraine Inflation May 2008

Inflation in Ukraine accelerated last month to the fastest in more than a decade. The annual inflation rate rose to 31.1 percent in May from 30.2 percent in April, the highest in Europe, accroding to the Kiev-based state statistics committee yesterday.

Consumer prices increased 1.3 percent in May from April, while producer prices rose 3.7 percent from April and 24.2 percent from December 2007.

The government of Ukraine, where the World Bank estimates almost 3.7 million people live in poverty, has so far failed to reduce the average inflation rate this year from 16.6 percent in 2007. Government and central bank officials have pledged to curb inflation to keep the economy stable as the former Soviet republic strengthens its economic ties with the European Union.

The central bank raised the benchmark interest rate to 12 percent from 10 percent in April and strengthened the hryvnia by 4 percent on May 21 in an effort to curb price increases. The Natsionalnyi Bank Ukrainy earlier predicted inflation this year will be below 20 percent.

Accelerating price growth threatens the credit ratings of Ukraine and other emerging-market nations, Fitch Ratings said May 27. Central bank Governor Volodymyr Stelmakh in April called inflation ``a real threat'' and said the government should cut social spending to help tame price increases.