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Minister: Odesa port exports in January almost at pre-war levels

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 3, 2024 7:37 PM 2 min read
Turkish bulk carrier TQ SAMSUN, loaded with Ukrainian agricultural products as part of the Grain Initiative, leaves the Port of Odesa, southern Ukraine, on July 16, 2023. (Yulii Zozulia / Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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A total of 6.3 million metric tons of goods were exported through ports in and around the city of Odesa in January 2024, which was "almost equal" to levels seen before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov reported on Feb. 3.

Over 20 million metric tons of cargo has been exported from these ports via Ukraine's temporary Black Sea corridor in the last six months, Kubrakov said.

The shipping route was opened in August 2023, weeks after Russia's unilateral termination of the Black Sea grain deal threatened Ukraine's ability to ship out its grain.

According to Kubrakov, 661 vessels have exported the cargo to 32 countries around the world. Of the 20 million metric tons, 14.3 million metric tons are agricultural products produced by Ukrainian farmers.

Another 104 vessels are set to arrive in the ports, which will ship out more than 3 million tons of cargo, Kubrakov said.

The corridor was originally 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. Ukraine is a major agricultural producer, and its supplies play a major role in feeding countries across the world, namely in the Global South.

Despite successful Ukrainian strikes against Russian naval capabilities, Black Sea shipping continues to face risks wrought by the all-out war, namely floating mines.

European Commission proposes to extend duty-free imports from Ukraine until June 2025
The European Commission proposed that import duties on Ukrainian exports to the EU should remain suspended until June 2025, though exceptions will apply to certain agricultural products, according to a Jan. 31 announcement.
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