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Traders union UGA wants EU to increase capacity of grain ‘solidarity lanes’

The Ukrainian grain traders union UGA said on Monday (24 July) it had urged the European Union to increase the capacity of so-called solidarity lanes to help it export grain following the collapse of the Black Sea grain deal.

The EU established the solidarity lanes last year after Russia’s invasion to try to help Ukraine export grain and other agricultural products by providing alternative transit routes via rail, road and inland waterways.

Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the EU’s executive European Commission, last week underlined the need for the solidarity lanes to continue operating after Russia quit the deal allowing safe export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea.

Outlining its proposals on its website, the UGA said it wanted exports via the solidarity lanes to grow by 1-1.5 million tons a month and suggested European carriers and ports involved in the transit of Ukrainian grain should receive partial compensation from the Commission in the form of subsidies.

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It did not say how much the current capacity is.

“This will lead to a significant reduction in the cost of grain transportation and will enable Ukrainian farmers to export surplus grain without losses to countries that need Ukrainian grain and stabilize global food security,” the UGA said.

The UGA said the increase could be achieved by exporting grain through ports in the Baltic states, Germany, the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia.

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The UGA said it had also proposed to transfer sanitary, phytosanitary and veterinary control from checkpoints on the border with Ukraine to the territory of the destination country, which it says would provide a significant increase in export.

UGA expects Ukraine’s 2023 combined grain and oilseed crop to reach 69 million tons, while export in 2023/20204 is seen at about 45 million tonnes.

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