This September, Ukraine exported a total of 6.9 million tonnes of agricultural products. In contrast with exports in August, the exports have increased by 41 percent. This is significant as the country’s tensions with Russia greatly disrupted its exports. 

According to Oleksandr Mykolayovych Kubrakov, Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine- the country’s pace of operations has increased significantly after unblocked ports in the Odesa region. Ukraine’s agricultural export shipments by sea route have increased two folds this September. A total of 168 vessels were sent, which is 2.5 times higher than the August 2022 figures. Notably, after tensions began between Russia and Ukraine this February, the export figures stood at a mere 16,000 tonnes. 

Other than the ports in the Odesa region, other ports, such as the Danube ports, also show promise. More than 1 million tonnes of agro-commodities are exported via the Danube river ports every month. The country is planning to raise investments, both domestic and foreign, for the development of the Danube port cluster. Danube ports are on the path to becoming a powerful Eastern European logistics hub in the future. To promote this, Ukraine is negotiating with the European Union to include the Ukrainian part of the Danube in TEN-T or Trans-European Transport Network. 

Agricultural Exports of Ukraine through rail have also seen a rise. A total of 1.2 million tonnes of agricultural products were exported in September 2022 through Ukraine Railways Joint-Stock Company or Ukrzaliznytsia JSC. In contrast to August 2022, the numbers are over 200,00 tonnes higher. 

The agricultural exports from Ukraine have seen a phenomenal rise after the opening of the ‘grain corridor’ under the Black Sea Grain Initiative. 

Black Sea Grain Initiative

The Initiative on the ‘Safe Transportation of Grain and Foodstuffs’ from Ukrainian ports is also called the Black Sea Grain Initiative. It is an agreement between Russia and Ukraine brokered by Turkey and the United Nations. 

Russia invaded Ukraine this February and put in a de facto naval blockade, forcing Ukraine to halt its exports. Ukraine is one of the biggest grain-exporting nations in the world, and multiple developed and developing countries depend on Ukraine to supplement their agricultural needs. The price of essential commodities surged, making the population of developing economies vulnerable to acute hunger.

This led to severe tensions in the global market as the supply chain has been disrupted exponentially and caused the United Nations to intervene. 

On July 22, 2022, the United Nations, in unison with Turkey, brokered an agreement between Russia and Ukraine to allow grain exports. This brought a sigh of relief to the global market. Following the agreement, exports from Ukraine rose dramatically.