The Ukrainian government has authorised the agriculture ministry to identify critical facilities in the agriculture sector that should be prioritised for receiving energy supplies, the ministry said on Tuesday.
Ukraine is a major grain exporter. Russia, which invaded in February, has been targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure with missile and drone strikes since October, frequently knocking out power and forcing Kyiv to implement emergency blackouts while repairs are carried out.
Under a government resolution, companies in the 'food processing industry and agriculture complex, (and in the) operation of irrigation systems and canals' are to be selected to receive priority energy supplies.
The Ukrainian grain traders union UGA asked the government last week to ensure priority supplies of electricity to grain silos to reduce potential damage to the harvest.
UGA said that with about 10 million tonnes of grain storage capacity lost because of Russia's invasion and nearly 10 months of war, Ukraine 'cannot afford to lose the harvest that was collected with incredible efforts'.
Ukraine's 2022 grain crop could fall to around 51 million tonnes from a record 86 million tonnes in 2021 because of Russia's 24 February invasion and lower yields, the government has said.
According to agriculture ministry data from November, Ukraine has exported almost 16.2 million tonnes of grain in the 2022/23 season, down 31.7% from the 23.8 million tonnes exported by the same stage of the previous season.
Elsewhere, the United Nations food agency's world price index fell marginally in November, marking an eighth straight monthly fall since a record high in March after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
News by Reuters, edited by ESM – your source for the latest supply chain news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.