Ukraine, the world’s biggest barley exporter, increased its 2009 grain harvest forecast 6.7 percent to as much as 48 million metric tons, Bloomberg reported.

The government plans no measures to curb grain export this year should the harvest meet expectations, which were raised from an earlier estimate of 45 million tons, Agriculture Minister Yuriy Melnyk told reporters today. Ukraine planted more areas with winter and spring grain for this year’s harvest, he said. The former Soviet state reaped a record 53.6 million tons in 2008.

Ukraine has exported 19.3 million metric tons of grain since July 1, the minister said. Export of sunflower oil, rapeseed oil and soya beans was 3.23 million tons.

The Eastern European country has planted 4.4 million hectares (10.87 million acres) with grain this spring as of today, which is 200,000 hectares more than in the same period last year, Melnyk told reporters in Kiev.

In all Ukrainian regions spring grain was sown within “optimal terms.” The country’s winter crop is 94 percent in “good to satisfactory condition,” according to Melnyk.