Ukraine’s temporary corridor through the Black Sea has managed to transport nearly 700,000 metric tons of grain, Minister of Agrarian Policy Mykola Solskyi announced during a meeting of the EU Council in Luxembourg, UkrAgroConsult reported on Oct. 24.
The temporary corridor was opened in August and has since seen 38 ships enter Ukraine’s ports and over 30 leave. Most of the ships are transporting grain to Europe and Africa.
“It works thanks to the support of our armed forces and the trust of international partners. Every day the number of ships calling at the ports is increasing,” Solskyi said.
The corridor does not go directly towards the Bosphorus Strait in a straight line as it did under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, but vessels hug the coastlines of Ukraine and NATO members Romania and Bulgaria for added security.
Unlike the grain initiative, which ended in July after Russia pulled out of the agreement, vessels are exporting metal products from Ukraine as well.
Ukraine’s recent successful attacks on Russia’s Black Sea fleet have forced the Russian Navy to retreat, attracting more shipowners to take the risk and travel the Ukrainian corridor.
Nevertheless, Solskyi noted that the majority of products are exported via the Danube River via Romania.
Last month, 2.3 million metric tons of agricultural products were exported via the Danube Ports, a decrease of 100,000 tons compared to August.
Overall, 3.6 million metric tons of agricultural products were exported in September, including via road and rail routes. Solksyi stressed that at least 6 million metric tons need to be exported per month.
“This volume of transportation can only be ensured by restoring the full operation of the deep-water ports of Greater Odesa,” the minister said.
Solskyi noted that the number of ships leaving Ukrainian ports is increasing, a trend he hopes will continue.
Ukraine will harvest 79.1 million tons of grain and oilseed this year and hopes to export 50 million tons in the 2023/2024 marketing season, the Agrarian Policy and Food Ministry predicts.