Business community urges international organizations to help lift Russia’s blockade of Black Sea ports

30 May, 06:55 PM
Loading grain into a truck at the Flour Milling Plant in the Chernihiv Region, May 24, 2022 (Photo:REUTERS/Edgar Su)

Loading grain into a truck at the Flour Milling Plant in the Chernihiv Region, May 24, 2022 (Photo:REUTERS/Edgar Su)

The business community in Ukraine is calling upon international organizations and governments of Ukraine's trade partners to assist in lifting the Black Sea ports blockade, the American Chamber of Commerce, or AmCham, reported on May 30.

Russia's war against Ukraine - the main events of May 30

In particular, the Chamber calls upon the international organizations: WTO, UN, OECD; and the Governments of Ukraine's trade partners – the United States, Turkey, China, India, Indonesia, Egypt and other Middle Eastern and North African countries – to help in finding the solution to unblock and demine the Ukrainian ports and guarantee the safe movement of trade vessels.

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It noted that today Ukraine’s grain elevators contain approximately 20 million tons of grain from last year's harvest. This grain could feed 400 million people for a year. 

Thus, there is a risk of the loss of a significant amount of grain in the fields during the current season, as there is no place to store it, given the volume of the expected upcoming harvest and current stored stocks.

According to the Chamber, if Ukrainian farmers do not ship the last year's harvest during July-August 2022, they will not plant for the next season.

"The potential consequences are bleak: world trade war, humanitarian crisis, increased hunger rates, skyrocketing prices, and inflationary pressures on the global market will become a new reality,” the AmCham report says.

“International food supply chains should be respected by all parties, same as energy supply chains, and protected from the impact of war."

According to representatives of Ukraine's Infrastructure Ministry, 103 ships are currently blocked in Ukrainian ports.

Alternative means of food exporting will not be able to compensate for the export volume of supplies from Ukraine before the war. Ukraine was previously able to send to other countries vast volumes of agricultural products – up to 90 million tons per year.

The shortage of Ukrainian grain on the world market caused by the blockade of seaports is leading to a general food panic. The global food price growth may reach 20-30%. The United States has rejected Russia's proposal that the West life sanctions against it in exchange for Russian unblocking access to Ukrainian ports.

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