East European grain bans cause Ukrainian exports to fall by one-third

20 April, 06:45 PM
Semi-wagon with grain (Photo:Валерій Ткачов via Facebook)

Semi-wagon with grain (Photo:Валерій Ткачов via Facebook)

Graincargo rail shipment to the west dropped in April by 37%, from 590 cars per day in late March to 374, said Deputy Director of Commercial Department of the Ukrainian Railway, Valeriy Tkachov, on April 20.

The drop in grain exports has impacted Ukraine’s overall export numbers. The average daily transfer of various cargo fell by 12.7% - from 1,980 to 1,730 cars, said Tkachov.

"Speaking of grain exports, we have already transported 1.53 million tons in 19 days (of April), which is less than last month (March 2023). We see a decrease. If this trend continues, we will export about 2.4 million tons per month, while in the best months we transported 3.2-3.4 million tons," Interfax-Ukraine quoted Tkachov as saying.

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Poland and Slovakia’s bans on Ukrainian food imports have played a significant role in this trend, as well as disruptions in the work of the grain corridor.

Poland banned grain imports from Ukraine on April 15, caving to the demands of Polish farmers who had protested Ukrainian agriculture shipments for months.

They claim that a significant part of Ukrainian grain does not transit further, remaining in Poland to flood the market and depress the prices.

Hungary, Slovakia, and Bulgaria have joined the temporary ban, also expanding it to a wide range of other farming products. The exception was made for products in transit.

The EU has slammed the bans, saying they contravene both EU and international law, said EU spokesperson for trade issues, Miriam Garcia Ferrer.

Ukraine and Poland agreed on April 18 to renew grain transit through Poland, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine said.

Romania hasn't restricted Ukrainian grain transit via its ports.

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