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Eastern European maize a rare bright spot

kiev / reuters / Eastern European maize crops have survived a summer drought, but exporters are unlikely to benefit as domestic buyers seek alternatives to wheat and barley ravaged by the heat.

Top maize producers in the Black Sea region — Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria and Romania — are likely to produce a total of 37 million tonnes of maize this year, compared to 39.7 million tonnes in 2011.

However, most is expected to replace feed wheat, whose output has drastically fallen this year amid soaring temperatures.

Hot, dry weather in some European Union countries has severely hit prospects for this year’s EU maize harvest, adding pressure to a world market already reeling from huge drought damage in the U.S.

Ukraine may limit wheat exports in 2013

Ukraine may limit wheat exports in early 2013 to keep a lid on prices after the wheat harvest declined this year, traders and analysts say.

The government has set 2012-13 maximum export volumes at 19.4 million tonnes of grain, including 4.0 million of wheat.

The former Soviet republic has already exported 1.3 million tonnes of wheat and may sell the rest of the agreed volume in the next two or three months, followed by a halt in exports.

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