UPDATE: Ukraine's corn harvest starts with higher yields than in 2018

9 Sep 2019 | Masha Belikova

Ukraine has started harvesting what could be another huge corn crop, with the first results showing average yields are 9.4% higher compared with last year's record harvest, official government data showed Monday.

According to the data, 281,100 mt of corn was already in the bins as of September 9, amounting to 1% of the planted area, while the average yield stands at 6.14 mt/ha.

The highest yields were in the Volyn region on the northwestern part of Ukraine where 10 mt/ha was attained.

The lowest yield was seen in the Odesa region with a figure of 2 mt/ha.

Last year's first corn yield results started from a lower level of 5.61/mt for the same date, but climbed higher along with harvest progress and reached a country-wide average of 7.84 mt/ha by at the end, powering a 35.8 million mt record harvest.

Market sources remain cautious on the first results however, with most saying it is still too early to draw any conclusions.

Some regard the lower-than-expected yields in some regions as a warning shot that this harvest has to be watched closely, while others said that even with "corn looking worse in general compared to last season," the average yield is still expected to be around 7 mt/ha, while the planted area has increased to 4.974 million hectares.

Ukraine's agricultural ministry is forecasting this season's corn production will reach 33 million mt, with average yields expected at 6.6 mt/ha, while USDA has a more optimistic view, expecting a new record of 36.5 million mt.

UPDATE: The data was updated after freshly-released data was published on Monday, boosting area harvested and updating yields, including a change in which regions have recorded the best and worst yields.