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You're reading: Ukraine, CME in talks on maize, barley and sunseed futures

Leading grain exporter Ukraine is in talks with the CME Group to launch futures contracts for its maize, barley and sunseed crops, its agriculture ministry said on Tuesday. 

The CME launched Black Sea wheat futures earlier this year and the exchange’s managers met Ukrainian farm minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk this week to discuss other commodities, the ministry said.

“We have discussed the conditions for launching futures for our sunseed, sunoil, barley and maize,” it quoted him as saying.

Ukraine has seen a rapid expansion in maize production in recent years and was the world’s third largest exporter of the commodity in 2011/12, according to International Grains Council figures.

The Black Sea producer was also the world’s largest barley exporter as recently as 2009/10 but the crop has lost ground to maize in the last couple of years.

Prysyazhnyuk also asked CME Group to set up a trading floor in Ukraine that would provide benchmark prices for the local market.

CME Group’s first venture in Black Sea grain has struggled to establish itself with the wheat contract barely traded with some attributing the failure partly to the region’s history of government intervention in grain markets.

Russia banned grain exports for almost a year in 2010 following a drought, while Ukraine’s government and traders earlier this month agreed that the former Soviet republic could export no more than 4.0 million tonnes of wheat this season without restrictions.

The CME Group runs some of the world’s most widely traded grain futures markets including a U.S. wheat contract. 

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