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Ukraine with a drop in exports

Украйна със спад в износа
Ukraine's grain exports have fallen to 6.68 million tonnes so far for the 2023/24 season, down from 8.99 million tonnes for the same period in 2022/23, agriculture ministry data showed on Monday.

Only 7,000 tonnes of grain were exported on the first day of October 2023 compared to 297,000 tonnes a year ago. The ministry did not provide an explanation for this decline. Traders and agricultural unions said the blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports and Russian attacks on Ukrainian ports on the Danube River were the main reasons for the lower exports.

The exported volume includes 3.3 million tons of wheat, 2.7 million tons of corn and 622 thousand tons of barley. Ukraine traditionally ships most of its exports through its deep-sea Black Sea ports.

A U.N.-Turkey-brokered deal allowing such exports collapsed in July when Russia walked out, saying its demand to lift sanctions on grain and fertilizer exports had not been met, and that the bulk of the grain it never reaches the needy estates.

Although Ukraine's deputy prime minister said on Sunday that five more ships were traveling to Ukrainian seaports through a new corridor opened primarily to export agricultural products, an alternative to the Black Sea grain deal, for now Ukraine continues to export limited quantities through small river ports of the Danube River and through its western land border with the European Union.

At the same time, Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania agreed on a plan they hope will help speed up Ukrainian grain exports. The deal means grain inspections will move from the Ukrainian-Polish border to a Lithuanian port on the Baltic Sea, according to a statement from Ukraine's agriculture ministry. From the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda, where the inspections will take place, the grain can be exported by sea to the whole world.

This is the first agreement between Poland and Ukraine since the beginning of the diplomatic crisis between the two countries, triggered by Ukrainian discontent over Poland's decision to protect its internal market.

Warsaw has announced that it wants to protect its market and farmers from a collapse in the prices of these products. However, the transit of Ukrainian grain through Poland to other countries remained permitted. The Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture believes that the decision "will allow the acceleration of transit through Poland".

In a special press release, the ministry welcomed the fact that Warsaw and Vilnius "support such a control mechanism and consider it a positive step".

Ukraine is expected to harvest 79 million tonnes of grain and oilseeds in 2023, with a total export volume for 2023/24 of around 50 million tonnes.

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