Monday 26 September saw Ukraine appeal to the European Union for assistance in its efforts to make the emergency routes for grain exports through the bloc longer-lasting. This includes investments in at least five terminals as well as a pipeline that would allow for the flow of sunflower oil.
Mykola Solsky was Ukraine’s agriculture minister. He told EU counterparts and European Commission members that financial support was needed to reduce dependence on Black Sea Exports Russia had blocked, or could block again.
After Russia invaded in February, the country’s exports of sunflower seed and grains have increased to 4.5million tonnes in August. This is due to the July agreement to open ports. However, the majority of overland corridors running through Europe are being maintained.
Solsky stated that corridors should become permanent and stable following a meeting in Brussels.
He said that Ukraine requires help expanding its truck fleet. An increase of 16,000 trucks to 12,000 trucks could allow 10-20 million tonnes of cereals to cross the border.
Ukraine is the world’s largest exporter of grain. It exports approximately 45 million tonnes of grain annually to the global market.
Five border terminals should be built, each one costing between $25-30M. It all depends on the route used to build a sunflower-oil pipeline.
Solsky acknowledged that shipping was cheaper, but it was not possible to transport crops from west Ukraine to Baltic ports. The Black Sea was the closest to Baltic ports. Even after the war, Ukraine would face an “unpredictable neighbor”.
He stated that it was essential to have an alternative route in order for business to continue. Routes through friendly democratic countries are the best.
Janusz Wojciechowski (agriculture commissioner) stated that he would ask the EU executive for an evaluation of how the bloc could finance such initiatives.
Falling imports during the 2022-2023 Season has pushed up global food costs and raised concerns about Africa’s food insecurity.
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