Ukraine Shifts Grain Route: Odesa Takes Lead Over Constanta amid Black Sea Challenges

Ukraine's grain exports via Romania's Constanta port dropped by 44% from January to May as the country relied more on its own ports. Analysts say Ukraine can now ship more through Odesa after establishing a new shipping corridor that bypasses the need for intermediation.

Reuters | Updated: 18-06-2024 18:14 IST | Created: 18-06-2024 18:14 IST
Ukraine Shifts Grain Route: Odesa Takes Lead Over Constanta amid Black Sea Challenges
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Ukraine's grain exports January through May via Romania's Black Sea port of Constanta fell by 44% on the year to 3.5 million metric tons, the port authority told Reuters on Tuesday, as Kyiv increasingly relies on its own ports.

Constanta remains Ukraine's largest alternative export route since Russia's invasion in February 2022, but analysts and observers say Ukraine this year is able to ship more through its own port of Odesa. Ukraine in August 2023 created a shipping corridor from its own ports that hugs the western Black Sea coast near Romania and Bulgaria after Russia withdrew from a U.N.-brokered safe grain export deal.

"Together with our partners we managed to mitigate the challenges and problems which existed in the Black Sea," Ukrainian Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka told a security forum in Romanian capital Bucharest in late May. "The current system of navigation is definitely better because it's free of intermediation and ... inspections. Tempo of movement is increasing, we can send big vessels."

However, Kachka underlined Romania remained a significant alternative export route, particularly via the Danube river. Grain arrives in Romania by road, rail and barge across the Danube river, and the coalition government has used European Union funds to boost rail and river investment.

Constanta Port data, which does not include volumes handled through smaller Romanian Danube ports and rail and road exports to southern European states, showed that 450,000 tons of Ukrainian grain left port in May. Overall grain exports through Constanta from January to May were up 3.6% on the year at 12.6 million tons.

Romania is one of the EU's biggest grain exporters. The port of Constanta also handles shipments for the EU state's landlocked neighbours including Serbia, Hungary and Moldova.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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