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UPDATE 1-Ukraine, CME in talks on maize, barley, sunseed futures
KIEV, Sept 25 (Reuters) - 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.
CME, owner of the Chicago Board of Trade, launched Black Sea wheat futures earlier this year, and managers for the exchange operator met Ukrainian farm minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk this week to discuss other commodities, according to the ministry.
"We have discussed the conditions for launching futures for our sunseed, sunoil, barley and maize," Prysyazhnyuk said, according to the ministry.
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 asked CME to set up a trading floor in Ukraine that would provide benchmark prices for the local market.
CME does not "have any news to share at this time" about launching new products in Ukraine, a spokesman in Chicago told Reuters.
CME has a "close working relationship" with Ukraine's agriculture ministry, he said. "We will continue to work with our partners there to look for opportunities to further develop the financial and derivatives market in Ukraine for grain and non-agricultural products."
CME's first venture in Black Sea grain has struggled to establish itself, with the wheat contract barely traded. Some market watchers have attributed the slow start 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.
CME runs some of the world's most widely traded grain futures markets, including a U.S. wheat contract.
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