REUTERS The National Association of Sugar Producers of Ukraine (NASU) Ukrtsukor says wholesale prices of sugar in the 2019-2020 marketing year (MY, September 2019-August 2020) may grow by 18% from MY 2018-2019 due to a reduction by a third in the country&#39;s sugar production, to 1.1-1.2 million tonnes. Read alsoAreas under sugar beet crops in Ukraine may shrink by quarter in 2019 "Such a decrease is primarily due to a reduction in areas under sugar beet crops and adverse weather conditions. Drought and lack of soil moisture affected the development of sugar beets. So, as of August 1, the crops had massively lost the weight of tops, which will cause their low sugar content," the Association&#39;s press service quoted Deputy Chair of the NASU Board Ruslana Yanenko as saying. However, not only adverse weather conditions are suppressing the growth and development of the crops, but also the spread of plant diseases. "Moisture and a cold spring have provoked the appearance of premature seeding root crops at farms, which will lead to a decrease in weight and sugar content of root crops. In turn, this will complicate the storage and processing of beets. Such sugar beets need to be dug up and shipped to [sugar] refineries," the press service added. In total, 32 sugar refineries are expected to operate in Ukraine this season, according to the Association&#39;s estimates. As UNIAN reported, the NASU earlier said that a poor yield of sugar beets in Ukraine due to heavy rains could lead to a reduction in sugar production in 2019, to 1.1 million tonnes. Ukrtsukor says the areas under sugar beet crops in 2019 shrank by a quarter from 2018. Ukrainian farmers started sowing sugar beet crops on March 28, 2019. Ukrainian enterprises boosted sugar production by 6.5% during the sugar refining season of MY 2017-2018, to 2.14 million tonnes.