Ukraine Increases Farm Exports by Rail and Truck as Black Sea Ports are Blocked

Ukraine, which has had to find different ways to export its grain since Russia quit the U.N.-brokered Black Sea grain export deal in mid-July, is stepping up road and rail shipments, brokers said on Wednesday.

Spike Brokers said 188,000 metric tons of agricultural goods were exported by lorries in the Sept. 1-11 period, compared 169,000 tons in the corresponding period in August. It had shipped 146,000 tons in the corresponding period in July.

"The most active crossing points in September were those between Ukraine and Poland," it said in a report.

Brokers said the grain exports by rail via the Ukrainian-Polish border had also increased by 14% over the past week.

"Romanian border crossings are used for 114.8 wagons of grain per day, up +28.8 wagons per day, or +33.49%, over the last week," it said.

Spike Brokers said traffic through Hungarian and Slovak borders had also increased.

"As of September 10, the average daily transfer of grain cargo is 498 wagons per day. Over the past week, the overall figure increased by +34 wagons per day, or by 7.33%," the brokers stated.

Before Russia's invasion in February 2022, eastern European countries were not among the main importers of Ukrainian grain, but the export of Ukrainian grains and oilseeds to Poland and Romania rose sharply last year, Ukrainian customs data showed.

Ukrainian authorities warned on Tuesday the country could seek international arbitration over restrictions on its grain exports after Poland said it would continue to block domestic imports of Ukrainian grain even if Brussels lifts a ban.

Restrictions imposed by the European Union in May allowed Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia to ban domestic sales of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seeds, while permitting transit of such cargoes for export elsewhere.

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, Editing by Timothy Heritage