Ukraine faces sharp drop in grain exports

Ucrânia enfrenta acentuada queda nas exportações de grãos
Image: Adobe Stock

Ukraine's grain exports continue to fall significantly short of last year's volumes, with 13.4 million tonnes exported to date, compared with 18.3 million tonnes in the same period last year, according to data from the country's Ministry of Agriculture, as reported by World Grain.

Ukrainian authorities expected a harvest of 79 million tonnes of grains and oilseeds in 2023/24, with an exportable surplus of 50 million tonnes, according to the December 4 report.

In February 2022, before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the country accounted for 9% of global wheat exports. Furthermore, it contributed 15% from corn and an impressive 44% from sunflower oil.

Meanwhile, UN officials sought to revive the Black Sea Grains Initiative (BSGI). Russia withdrew in July, a year after mediation by the UN and Turkey, according to the report.

Ukraine has established a humanitarian corridor for agricultural exports. This channel facilitated the shipment of more than 4 million tons, as reported by World Grain.

Ukraine reinforces air defenses to protect grain export routes after Russian attacks

The new route runs along the southwestern Black Sea coast of Ukraine, in Romanian waters, towards Turkey.

Faced with the challenging scenario, Ukraine sought to reinforce its air defenses. The objective was to protect grain export routes and border regions with Russia. This need was highlighted by the country's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in a Reuters report on November 26.

At the international food security summit in Kiev, Zelenskiy delivered his speech. This occurred on November 25, shortly after a Russian drone attack on Ukraine overnight.

Zelenskiy said Ukraine's foreign partners would provide vessels to accompany convoys of cargo ships from Ukraine's ports to ensure their safety.

Additionally, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pledged support in a letter to Zelenskiy that she shared on social media platform X, saying the commission would provide 50 million euros (US$53.96 million) for “repairs rapid and infrastructure upgrades at Ukraine’s ports.”

Zelenskiy said Kiev hopes to resolve its air defense shortage by increasing its own production capacity and obtaining new supplies from partners, an area in which progress has been made.

Source: Oils & Fats International

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