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Infrastructure Ministry: 93% of Ukrainian agricultural exports exit Ukraine by sea, river

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 23, 2024 7:11 PM 2 min read
The Aroyat bulk carrier ship registered in Palau, sails towards the Ukrainian Black sea port of Chornomorsk on Sept. 16, 2023. (STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)
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Ukrainian farmers exported 93% of their products through the ports in and around Odesa and on the Danube in the period since August 2023, Ukraine's Infrastructure Ministry reported on Feb. 23.

More than 30 million metric tonnes of agricultural products have been exported through these ports since August 2023, when Ukraine set up a new shipping corridor after Russia unilaterally terminated the Black Sea grain deal.

The corridor was initially opened to allow the exit of vessels that had been docked at Ukraine's Black Sea ports since February 2022.

Since then, it has become a route for exporting Ukrainian goods such as grain and metal, despite the ongoing Russian attacks and threats such as sea mines.  

In the seven months since Ukraine opened the corridor, 854 vessels sailed to 42 countries and exported 26 million metric tonnes of cargo, of which more than 18 million metric tonnes were Ukrainian agricultural products, according to Infrastructure Ministry statistics.

"In December, 6.8 million tons were exported by sea, in January it was 6.7 million tons. Although February is the shortest month of the year, we still hope to keep the export figure no lower than in previous months, " Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said.

"Taking into account the situation with the blocking of our exports on the western border, we are preparing to increase agricultural exports through the Danube bypassing the border with Poland," Kubrakov said.

Polish farmers launched a new wave of protests on the border in early February in response to Ukrainian agricultural imports and the EU's Green Deal.

Kubrakov was referring to the protests at the Polish-Ukrainian border that again erupted earlier in February as Polish farmers criticized the import of Ukrainian agricultural products and the EU's Green Deal.

The situation escalated on Feb. 20, when some protesters dumped Ukrainian grain on railway tracks and displayed anti-Ukrainian posters.

Protesters again dumped agricultural products from a Ukrainian train at a border crossing with Poland on Feb. 23, Ukrainian Railways reported.

Ukrainian Railways said that the dumped product was oilseed headed to Germany.  

Infrastructure Ministry: Ukraine plans to bypass Poland border issues by adding new Danube export route
Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov told Bloomberg at the Munich Security Conference, which concluded on Feb. 18, that the new route would be “more predictable” than exports overland into Poland.

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