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The Ukrainian grain traders’ union (UGA) has asked the government to give priority supplies of electricity to grain silos to prevent damage to harvests, Reuters wrote.

Production processing at grain storage facilities had become almost impossible due to Russia’s targeting of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure with missile and drone strikes since October, the UGA was quoted as saying in the 13 December report.

“This, in turn, leads to grain spoilage and loss of funds,” the UGA said. “Most importantly, (this is) extremely important for the country’s food security and export of products.”

With about 10M tonnes of grain storage capacity lost due to the ongoing conflict with Russia, the association said Ukraine could not “afford to lose the harvest that was collected with incredible efforts”.

The Ukraine government has said that the country’s 2022 grain crop could fall to around 51M tonnes from a record 86M tonnes the previous year due to Russia’s invasion on 24 February and lower yields, Reuters wrote.

Power cuts at one business had caused grain to start heating up and the temperature inside a corn storage tank had risen to 46°C, the UGA said.

“Due to the lack of electricity, it was impossible to cool or ventilate the grain by moving it,” the association said, adding that self-heating could cause an emergency at the grain facility.

One of the world’s top corn and wheat producers and exporters, Ukraine has seen exports fall significantly following Russia’s invasion, the report said.