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What are the alternative routes to Ukraine?

Кои са алтернативните маршрути на Украйна?

Good harvest results briefly lifted the spirits of Ukrainian farmers, but now a new challenge lies ahead - finding ways to export crops to international markets.

Since withdrawing from the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July 2023, Russia has attacked over 100 port infrastructure facilities and warehouses in the Black Sea and the Dnieper and Danube rivers. 25,000 tons of grain were also destroyed in the attacks.

These events, combined with the country's reluctance to sit down at the negotiating table, made it necessary to look for alternative routes for exports from Ukraine.

As of November 1, export volumes of Ukrainian grains and legumes for the 2023-2024 marketing year were 4.2 million tons lower than in the same period for the 2022-2023 marketing year.

Between July 1 and November 1, 2023, Ukraine exported 4.6 million tons of wheat and 3.8 million tons of corn, compared with 5.1 million and 7.1 million at the same time in 2022, November data showed Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food in Ukraine.

After the end of the Black Sea Agreement, Ukraine began to rely on the ports on the Danube River, Romanian ports and the European Union's solidarity pathways to secure its agricultural exports.

The European solidarity corridors have caused the displeasure of a number of countries, some of which have even imposed a ban on grain imports from Ukraine, in an attempt to protect their domestic markets. After the intervention of the EU, some of the bans fell, and Ukraine promised to introduce a licensing regime for its operators. However, what are the real motives of the country to introduce the licenses, follow the topic in Agrinizer's daily news in the next days.

The Danube ports allowed grain to be transported from Ukrainian river ports to Romania, transshipped onto larger ships, and then transported through Romanian waters on the Black Sea to the rest of the world.

Only 4% of all Ukrainian grain exports were transported through these ports before the war, but now they handle about 65% of all Ukrainian grain exports. The maximum shipping potential of the Danube ports is 35 million tons of grain per year.

In August, Ukraine also created a temporary humanitarian corridor, which was not recognized by Russia. It was built on the basis of cooperation with several grain transport companies from Turkey and African countries using the humanitarian corridor in the Black Sea along the Romanian and Bulgarian coasts.

The corridor is protected by Ukrainian military boats escorting grain ships to ensure their safety. About 700,000 tonnes of grain have left Ukrainian ports on the new route from September to early October 2023, compared to 3.5 million tonnes exported monthly before the end of the Black Sea agreement.

According to UkrAgroConsult, the new corridor is not able to replace the broken agreement, but export volumes are still expected to increase to 1.82 million tons per month after all ships in the ports depart.

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