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Ukraine Experts Predict Grain Shortages After Spring Drought

Wheat growing in Ukraine's Chernigov region

Wheat growing in Ukraine's Chernigov region

KYIV -- Ukraine's Agribusiness Club of producers says it agrees with estimates suggesting the official 2012 grain harvest could be half of what Ukrainian farmers reported last year.

The association's president, Aleks Lissits, told journalists that drought and other unfavorable weather conditions have left the country's southern farming regions "on the brink of disaster."

The Ukrainian Ministry for Agrarian Policy and Food says drought in April and May has caused a serious threat of grain shortages.

But the ministry says it does not expect the shortages to have an impact on the country's food security or cause subtantially higher food prices.

The ministry predicts Ukraine's official wheat harvest in 2012 will be between 12 and 14 million tons.

The official wheat harvest last year was more than 22.3 tons.