KIEV, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Arbuzov said Friday his country has a potential to become the world's third-biggest grain exporting nation within the next decade.
"Ukraine's annual grain output may climb to around 65 million tons, while overseas sales are projected to reach 31 million tons by 2021," Arbuzov was quoted by the government press-office as saying.
This marketing year, which started on July 1, the country's grain shipments may exceed an all-time record of 26 million tons, Arbuzov said.
Ukraine, once known as a breadbasket of Europe, lost its status in the mid-2000s, exporting an average of 14.7 million tons of crops per year.
In 2011-2012 marketing season Ukraine made up some lost ground, supplying global market with over 22.5 million tons of cereals.
Last marketing year, from July 2012 to June 2013, Ukraine exported around 23 million tons of grain, becoming one of the world's 10 biggest grain suppliers.
Ukrainian government estimates the national grain yield will be at least 53 million ton in 2013 against 46.2 million tons harvested last year.