Starting prices for Ukrainian wheat for the 2024 harvest will be 3-8% higher than last year's prices, but they are likely to fall, consultancy ASAP Agri said late on Monday.

Prices for Ukrainian milling wheat with 11.5% protein content could be 8% higher year on year, while feed wheat could add 3%, the consultancy said.

Ukraine's wheat harvest is likely to decrease to 21 million metric tons in 2024 from 22.5 million tons in 2023 due to a smaller sowing area.

"Despite prices being higher year on year, we see the trend as bearish, as the harvesting campaign has already started in Odesa, Mykolaiv, Dnipro regions," the consultancy said.

Acting agriculture minister Taras Vysotskiy said on Saturday that farmers in the southern regions of Ukraine had started the 2024 grain harvest.

Ukraine traditionally starts harvesting grain in the second half of June.

The APK-Inform consultancy reported that Ukrainian 12.5% protein milling wheat export prices had fallen slightly over the past week to an average of $230 per ton FOB Black Sea. Wheat with 11.5% protein costs an average of $227 per ton FOB.

"The progress of the harvesting campaign and the slowdown in trading will put some pressure on prices," it said.

The agriculture ministry last week raised its forecast for the 2024 grain harvest to 56 million tons from 52.4 million tons. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; editing by Jason Neely)