In a recent development, Ukraine has witnessed a significant increase in the number of rail wagons transporting grains to the ports in the Odesa region. This positive trend is attributed to the successful operation of an alternative Black Sea export corridor, as reported by a senior official from Ukrainian Railways.
Valeriy Tkachov, the Deputy Director of the Commercial Department at Ukrainian Railways, shared this information on Facebook, highlighting that over the past week, the number of grain wagons heading to Odesa ports has surged by more than 26%, reaching 5,341 wagons compared to 4,227 in the previous period. Furthermore, up to 970 wagons are being unloaded at the ports' silos on a daily basis, marking a significant increase from the previous week when the number of wagons jumped by around 50%.
This positive development can be attributed to the "humanitarian corridor" launched by Ukraine in August. Initially designed to facilitate ships heading to African and Asian markets, this corridor has proven valuable in bypassing the de facto blockade in the Black Sea after Russia terminated an agreement that had secured Kyiv's seaborne exports during the ongoing conflict. Notably, this corridor runs along Ukraine's southwestern Black Sea coast, extends into Romanian territorial waters, and continues to Turkey. It has now expanded its scope to include grain shipments.
Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov provided an update on the corridor's success, stating that since its inception in August, 91 vessels have exported an impressive 3.3 million metric tons of agricultural and metal products.
The UCAB agricultural business association corroborated this positive trend, reporting that Ukrainian grain agricultural exports experienced a 15% increase, reaching 4.8 million metric tons in October, thanks to the efficiency of the new corridor.
Looking ahead, Ukraine's government has high expectations for its grain and oilseeds harvest in 2023, targeting a yield of 79 million tons, with a projected exportable surplus of approximately 50 million tons for the 2023/24 season.
This surge in grain deliveries to Black Sea ports is a testament to Ukraine's resilience and determination to overcome challenges in the face of ongoing regional tensions, further solidifying its position in the global agricultural trade landscape. The successful operation of the alternative export corridor serves as a beacon of hope for the country's economic prospects in the midst of adversity.