Ukraine's agriculture ministry said on Tuesday that farmers had sown a total of 1.58 million hectares of winter crops as of September 19.

The area included 514,800 hectares of winter wheat, or 11.8% of the expected area of around 4.4 million hectares, the ministry said in a statement.

Ukraine is a traditional grower of winter wheat which accounts for at least 95% of its overall wheat output.

The ministry also said farmers had sown 46,900 hectares of winter barley and almost one million hectares of winter rapeseed.

Producers plan to sow 692,100 hectares of winter barley and 1.2 million hectares of winter rapeseed this year.

Ukraine is a major grain producer but an agreement which had allowed safe exports of grain via its Black Sea ports collapsed in July. That has sparked speculation that farmers might sow less wheat as costlier export routes shrink their profit margins. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk)