Ukraine grain exports down 30.8% so far in 2022/23, ministry says

Exports are down 5.5 million tonnes over last year
calendar icon 30 January 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Ukraine has exported almost 26.3 million tonnes of grain so far in the 2022/23 season, down from the 37.9 million tonnes exported by the same stage of the previous season, Reuters reported, citing data from the agriculture ministry on Monday.

The volume included about 9.4 million tonnes of wheat, 14.9 million tonnes of corn and about 1.8 million tonnes of barley.

The ministry said grain exports so far in January had reached 3.5 million tonnes as of Jan. 30, down from 5.5 million tonnes in the same period last year.

After an almost six-month blockade caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, three Ukrainian Black Sea ports were unblocked at the end of July under a deal between Moscow and Kyiv brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.

The infrastructure ministry on Monday said that a total of 18 ships carrying 664,000 tonnes of agricultural goods left Ukrainian ports last week, a third less than the previous week.

"In the Bosphorus, the Russian side in the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) continues to block the implementation of the initiative and artificially increase the queue of ships," the ministry said on Facebook.

It said that 117 vessels were awaiting inspection in Turkish territorial waters as of Jan. 30, including 92 that are heading west to ports for loading and 25 that are already carrying agricultural products.

It said that over the past week only 20 inspections took place, compared with the ministry's minimum requirement of 84.

"These factors hinder the implementation of the grain initiative: we are seeing a decrease in exports by almost 30% compared to the previous month," the ministry said.

A major global grain grower and exporter, Ukraine's grain output is likely to drop to about 51 million tonnes in 2022 from a record 86 million tonnes in 2021. Officials have blamed the fall on hostilities in the country's eastern, northern and southern regions.

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