Since 1 August, when the implementation of the “grain initiative” began, 1.72 million tonnes of agricultural products have been shipped from the Ukrainian ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Pivdennyi. A total of 68 ships left the unblocked ports in August bound for ports of destination in 18 world countries.

The Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine has noted that the first month of the initiative shows how critical it is to our economy and global food security. In August alone, more than 1.7 million tonnes of foodstuffs were exported through the ports of the Odesa region. Over the same period, almost 1.6 million tonnes were exported through the Danube ports, about a million tonnes by rail, and over 600,000 tonnes’ by road.

Already in September, it is expected to reach the rate of transshipment through unblocked sea ports at the level of at least 3 million tonnes of products. Ukraine plans to export at least 8 million tonnes by all modes of transport.

‘We also see the growing interest of shipowners in working within the framework of the ‘grain initiative.’ In particular, in August, 67 vessels entered our ports for loading, and we already have dozens of new requests to enter the ports. International markets are responding positively to the ‘grain initiative,’ and the cost of food is decreasing,” commented Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov.

He added that this contributed to the improvement of the humanitarian situation among the socially vulnerable population in the countries of Africa and Asia. In particular, Ukraine has already sent two vessels chartered by the UN World Food Programme to help such countries.

In total, about 5 million tonnes of agricultural products were exported through the unblocked ports and Danube ports, by rail and by road in August. This is a record figure since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

As a reminder, Ukraine, Turkey, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres signed the initiative on the safe transportation of grain and foodstuffs from the Ukrainian ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Pivdennyi in Istanbul on 22 July.

Natalia Tolub

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