Ukraine gov. moves to limit exports, clears farm workers from military service

7 Mar 2022 | Masha Belikova

The Ukrainian government has banned the export of essential products and limited the export of grains after Russia invaded the country more than a week ago, official documents released over the weekend have shown.

The measures restrict exports of essential goods such as buckwheat, rye, sugar, millet, oats, salt, live cattle, the meat of cattle, and other subproducts from cattle, as the country faces increased demand along with the possibility of lower supply amid the war.

Along with that, the government has decided to put limits on grain exports, including wheat, corn, sunflower oil, poultry and eggs.

The above list of products could be exported under licenses, but there are currently no details provided on how the licenses will be distributed and what total volume of exports will be allowed.

It comes as currently all Ukrainian exports, which mainly go through the country's Black Sea ports, has stopped amid either high risks or active militar action due to the Russian invasion.

Along with that there are reports that some cities are already facing a humanitarian disaster as basic supplies are no longer available amid either occupation by the Russian army or active seiges and heavy fighting close by.

That also comes as the spring campaign is now under question in the current circumstances, but the government has already also imposed measures that might help to manage field works, with key employees engaged in the agriculture sector excused from military operations during the harvest period.

“In order to timely conduct a complex of spring-summer fieldwork, agricultural enterprises and food producers must submit lists of critical workers to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy who will be granted a deferment from military service during mobilization and wartime,” the official notice showed.

Ukraine’s spring planting campaign is just around the corner, but in terms of wheat, it is only a small percentage of production amounting to around 2-3% of the total sown area.

Spring barley, however, contributes a heftier 50% of the all barley planted.

Meanwhile, the next major concern will surround corn, sunflower and the country's relatively small soybeans production - all of which are also usually planted in springtime.

However, with planting typically starting in mid-April, there remains time yet.