The spectrum of the food crisis: grain exports of

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels

Reading time: 2 minutes

Ukraine exported 1.11 million tonnes of grain in the first 22 days of June, 44% less than in the same period last year, Reuters reported, citing data released Monday by the Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture, according to Agerpres.

According to the quoted data, the neighboring country exported 978,000 tons of corn, 104,000 tons of wheat and 24,000 tons of barley.

By comparison, before the Russian invasion, Ukraine exported up to six million tons of grain in a single month.

In May this year, Ukraine’s grain exports fell to about 1.7 million tons. Due to Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports, Kyiv authorities are trying to redirect grain exports by rail, road and river.

The Ministry of Agriculture in Kyiv hopes to be able to send 700,000-750,000 tons of grain per month through the two small ports from the Danube to Romania, from where they would be delivered further to North Africa and Asia. The rest up to the two million tonne target would be exported by road and rail to Europe.

So far, things have moved slowly. In the first 22 days of May, only 28,000 tons of Ukrainian grain were exported by road.

When it comes to rail transport, this is a more promising option, but it remains complicated and expensive. Ukrainian trains have to stop at the border because the gauge of Soviet-era railways is 9 centimeters longer than the gauge of European railways. Then the grain is reloaded into wagons from different trains or the wagons are lifted and the bogies are changed, all this taking time and limiting the quantities of grain that can be exported.