Ukrzaliznytsia resumes grain transit through Poland

25 April, 01:44 PM
Freight car of Ukrzaliznytsia (Photo:Artem Ilyin / NV)

Freight car of Ukrzaliznytsia (Photo:Artem Ilyin / NV)

Ukrzaliznytsia, Ukraine’s national railway operator, has resumed the export of Ukrainian agricultural products through Poland for the first time since April 15, Interfax-Ukraine reported on April 24.

The shipments are authorized for land transit and for transit to the seaports of Gdańsk, Gdynia, Świnoujście, and Szczecin.

Ukrzaliznytsia received a notification about the lifting of restrictions from the Poland’s PKP Cargo on April 21 after an order by Poland’s Economic Development and Technology Minister, Waldemar Buda, regarding transit cargo from Ukraine.

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Ukrzaliznytsia stated that they welcome the decision to lift the restrictions on Ukrainian agricultural cargo through Poland, and said they look forward to working with shippers to synchronize transportation and reduce queues at border crossings.

The issue of the 3,000 rail cars loaded with Ukrainian agricultural products that were accepted for transportation before the Polish restrictions were imposed remains unresolved.

Poland will expand the number of seaports for the transit of Ukrainian agricultural products, including through the port city of Kołobrzeg, Ukrzaliznytsia reported.

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

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

Later, Hungary and Slovakia also announced a temporary ban on the import of grain and oilseeds, along with other agricultural products from Ukraine. Bulgaria joined these countries on April 19, allowing only transit.

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

In fact, grain prices have been falling worldwide, not just in Poland. Prices spiked last year following Russia’s full scale-invasion of Ukraine and blockade of the country’s ports. A UN-brokered deal last year unblocked the shipments, allowing Ukraine to export grain again, allowing prices to fall.

Ukraine and Poland reached an agreement on resuming the transit of Ukrainian agricultural products on April 18, said Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food.

Hungary announced on April 19 that it had banned imports of 25 types of agricultural products from Ukraine into the country, but then greenlighted their transit under special conditions.

Romania has not restricted Ukrainian grain transit via its ports.

The European Commission is still in talks with the five EU countries on their bans of Ukrainian grain imports.

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