European corridors enabled 61% of Ukraine’s grain exports to be shipped out by August

Trade corridors put in place by the European Commission for agri-food goods from Ukraine allowed 61% of Ukrainian cereal exports to be taken out by August, a senior EU official said Tuesday.

Up to August, 14 million tons of grain were taken out, more than half through the European initiative ‘solidarity corridors’ to make customs passages more flexible for goods from Ukraine, while the remaining 39% was channeled through the Black Sea thanks to the agreements reached at the United Nations level to unblock Ukrainian ports.

Specifically, in August 2.6 million of the tons of agricultural products left the country thanks to the ‘solidarity corridors’, up from 1.3 million in April, when Brussels decided to launch the initiative.

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Half of the exports went through the port city of Constanta in Romania, followed by routes to the port cities of Gdansk and Szczecin in northern Poland.

Brussels estimates are for Ukraine’s crop this year to reach 50 to 52 million tons, an improvement over earlier forecasts months ago. Of which, corn production could stand at 14 million tons.

Ukraine and Russia accounted for 26% of world wheat exports and 14% of corn exports, with Middle Eastern and African countries among the main buyers of their grains.

Brussels is working to ease transport costs and reduce bottlenecks at a time when the Black Sea lane has been opened but in the EU capital they understand that it is “critical” to maintain all corridors to Ukraine’s trade exports, which also serves to transport goods within the country in the midst of a war with Russia.

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“The corridors are here to stay and offer stable and safe routes,” said the senior EU official, who stressed that there is coordination with G7 members to keep this route open for agricultural exports and imports. “We are going to continue working and the common position is that they are here to stay,” he said.

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