Positive developments in the last months of 2023 mean that Ukraine's exports are forecast to grow by 9% in 2024, and 19.4% in 2025, Economy Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko reported on Jan. 5.
Ukraine was forced to find new ways of ensuring its goods can be exported since Russia pulled out of the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July and began a campaign of attacks against its Black Sea ports, declaring all ships sailing to Ukrainian ports to be military targets.
Ukraine has been using an alternative temporary corridor to export its products since August and has seen at least 38 ships enter Ukraine's ports and over 30 leave. Most of the vessels are transporting grain to Europe and Africa.
As well as this corridor, Svyrydenko cited the launch of a ship insurance mechanism against war risks and the growing capacity of river ports on the Danube as three positive developments that have laid a foundation for increasing exports.
The war risk insurance mechanism, which was developed together with international partners, reduces the cost of grain shipping insurance by up to 1.25%.
Svyrydenko cited Romania as an example of a neighboring country where the transit of Ukrainian goods increased in 2023. Romania's President Klaus Iohannis said in October that nearly 60% of the total volume of Ukrainian grain exports now transit through Romania.
Romania's Black Sea port of Constanta will also set up an additional harbor to increase the transit of Ukrainian grain by March 2024, Dmytro Moskalenko, the director of the Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company, announced in December.
According to the Economy Ministry's statistics, Ukraine exported a total of 99.8 million metric tons of goods in 2023, 112,000 metric tons more than in 2022.
However, "border blockades, grain disputes and Russia's sabotage of the grain deal" meant that the value of exports in 2023, at $35.8 billion, was 18.7% less than the year before.
"This is one of the lowest figures for the last decade," Svyrydenko said.
The government is also "working to strengthen export logistics with air defense systems and to find new ways to export goods and services" as a way to "ensure flexibility and maneuverability in the event of new challenges," according to Svyrydenko.