Ukraine looks for ways to get its grain out



By Pavel Polityuk and Silvia Aloisi

KYIV, May 24 (Reuters) - Ukraine is seeking ways to get grain and vegetable oils out of the country by breaking a months-long blockade of the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea by the Russian navy and moving more by land.

The war, together with Western sanctions against Russia, have sent the price of grain, cooking oil, fertiliser and energy soaring.

That in turn is threatening a global food crisis as many countries count on Russia and Ukraine for more than half of their wheat imports, including some of the poorest.

Russia and Ukraine together account for nearly a third of the global wheat supply, and their importance has been underscored by an Indian export ban and adverse crop weather in North America and Western Europe.

Ukraine is also a major exporter of corn, barley, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil, while Russia and Belarus - which has backed Moscow in the war and is also under sanctions - account for over 40% of global exports of the crop nutrient potash.

HOW MUCH GRAIN IS STUCK IN UKRAINE?

Grain is one of Ukraine's main industries, with exports totalling $12.2 billion in 2021 and accounting for nearly a fifth of the country's exports.

Prior to the war, Ukraine exported 98% of its cereals and oilseed via the Black Sea, at a rate of up to 6 million tonnes per month. Typically, only a fraction of its exports went by rail, where transport costs are higher.

But with the ports blocked and the railway system unable to cope with the extra volume, the country is currently only exporting between 1-1.5 million tonnes a month.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week accused Russia of using food as a weapon in Ukraine by holding "hostage" supplies for not just Ukrainians, but also millions around the world. The Kremlin says it is the West that triggered the crisis by slapping sanctions against Moscow.

According to a U.N. food agency official, nearly 25 million tonnes of grain were stuck in Ukraine as of early May due to infrastructure challenges and the naval blockade. As prices surge, U.N. agencies are having to cut food rations for refugees and displaced people by up to half in parts of the Sahel, for example, due to a massive funding shortfall.

WHY CAN'T THE GRAINS GET OUT OF UKRAINE BY LAND?

Exporting by train is a challenge because the Ukrainian rail system operates on a different gauge to European neighbours such as Poland, so the grain has to be transferred to different trains at the border where there are not many transfer or storage facilities.

Kyiv has also been stepping up efforts to ship via the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanta. But as of mid-May, only about 240,000 tonnes of grain - or 1% of the volume stuck in Ukraine - had passed through, its manager Florin Goidea told Reuters.

Re-routing grain to Romania involves transport by rail to ports on the Danube river and loading cargoes onto barges for sailing towards Constanta - making the process complex and costly.

WHAT OTHER OPTIONS ARE BEING DISCUSSED?

Western powers have been discussing the idea of setting up "safe corridors" to allow grain to be shipped out of Ukrainian ports.

But officials have warned that any such corridor would not be possible without Russian consent.

Ukraine says it needs "guarantees of security", with deputy economy minister Taras Kachka telling Reuters last week that having "vessels of third countries in the area …would be an ideal situation."

Russia's foreign ministry in turn said that if it were to heed a United Nations appeal to open access to Ukraine's Black Sea ports, the removal of sanctions against Russia would also have to be considered, the Interfax news agency reported.

Making things even more difficult are drifting mines in the Black Sea, which each side accuses the other of planting.

Insurance costs for any vessel braving these shipping lanes would also likely be very high.

The situation has taken on added urgency because of a shortage of grain storage space in Ukraine, where the next crop will be harvested from July.

Up to 35% of Ukraine's total storage capacity of 61 million tonnes could still be used up by the old 2021 crop by the time the new harvest comes in, according to research centre APK-Inform.


Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris; writing by Silvia Aloisi; editing by Jason Neely

免責聲明: XM Group提供線上交易平台的登入和執行服務,允許個人查看和/或使用網站所提供的內容,但不進行任何更改或擴展其服務和訪問權限,並受以下條款與條例約束:(i)條款與條例;(ii)風險提示;(iii)完全免責聲明。網站內部所提供的所有資訊,僅限於一般資訊用途。請注意,我們所有的線上交易平台內容並不構成,也不被視為進入金融市場交易的邀約或邀請 。金融市場交易會對您的投資帶來重大風險。

所有缐上交易平台所發佈的資料,僅適用於教育/資訊類用途,不包含也不應被視爲適用於金融、投資稅或交易相關諮詢和建議,或是交易價格紀錄,或是任何金融商品或非應邀途徑的金融相關優惠的交易邀約或邀請。

本網站的所有XM和第三方所提供的内容,包括意見、新聞、研究、分析、價格其他資訊和第三方網站鏈接,皆爲‘按原狀’,並作爲一般市場評論所提供,而非投資建議。請理解和接受,所有被歸類為投資研究範圍的相關内容,並非爲了促進投資研究獨立性,而根據法律要求所編寫,而是被視爲符合營銷傳播相關法律與法規所編寫的内容。請確保您已詳讀並完全理解我們的非獨立投資研究提示和風險提示資訊,相關詳情請點擊 這裡查看。

我們運用 cookies 提供您最佳之網頁使用經驗。更改您的cookie 設定跟詳情。

風險提示:您的資金存在風險。槓桿商品並不適合所有客戶。請詳細閱讀我們的風險聲明