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Operations at Mariupol port amid Russia-Ukraine conflict. Photo REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

Wheat grain is loaded into the cargo vessel Mezhdurechensk before its departure for the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don in the course of Russia-Ukraine conflict in the port of Mariupol, Russian-controlled Ukraine, October 25, 2023. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

Port Attacks Slow Ukraine Grain Exports

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March 27, 2024

by Pavel Polityuk (Reuters) Constant attacks on Ukrainian Black Sea ports by Russian drones and missiles are leading to a slowdown in Ukraine’s maritime agricultural exports, brokers said on Wednesday.

A key maritime hub in the southern Odesa region has been under almost daily attacks in recent weeks, but authorities have not reported any significant damage to port infrastructure.

“Active shelling of Ukraine, particularly in the south, by Russia last week led to interruptions in export shipments and a slowdown in waterborne exports,” Spike Brokers, which tracks and publishes export statistics, said on the Telegram messaging app.

It gave no exact volumes of exports and the stricture of the shipments. Ukraine is a traditional exporter of grains, vegetable oils and oilseeds.

Ukrainian agriculture ministry said earlier on Wednesday that the country’s grain exports so far in March had totalled 4.5 million metric tons, slightly down from 4.6 million in the same period a year earlier.

Ukraine has traditionally exported around 95% of its grain via its deep water Black Sea ports and Spike Broker reported a further decline in export volumes.

“There is a decline in (expected) cargo volumes in April and May,” the brokerage said.

The ministry data showed that Ukrainian agricultural maritime exports totalled 2.95 million tons in March 1-15 and corn dominated the volume.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; editing by David Evans)

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