In a statement Ukrainian Farm Minister said, nearly 1.25 million tonnes of oilseeds and grains, loaded on commercial vessels are rotting away in Ukrainian seaports with Russia enforcing a blockade.
Before the war, Ukraine used to export the bulk of its grain and oilseeds via seaports; it is now forced to find new routes. Before Ukraine exported up to 6 million tonnes of grain and oilseed a month, in comparison, in March, Ukrainian exports were just 200,000 tonnes, said Mykola Solskyi.
“It (the cargo) is not unloaded, and is still on vessels. There are currently 57 vessels with 1.25 million tonnes of grain and oilseeds,” said Solskyi.
He went on to add, “As for the retention period, I think that even the captains themselves in most cases do not know if there are any problems with this. They certainly did not plan to keep this grain on the ships for a long time”.
Traditionally, Ukraine exported its grains to north Africa and the Middle East; these regions will now be forced to source their grains from other countries.
“Importers were already spending more and the situation with grain supply from Ukraine could push these countries to build greater grain reserves and this would also drive up prices”, said Solskyi. “That is, even if this story ended magically tomorrow, the wave of high prices will be another 3 to 5 years, until the mood levels off, and there will be no balance”.