Ukraine's grain exports are down 27.8% to 6.92 million metric tons so far in the 2023/24 July-June season, compared with 9.63 million tons in the same period of 2022/23, agriculture ministry data showed on Friday.
The ministry said 249,000 tons of grain were exported in the first five days of October. Ukraine exported 932,000 tons from Oct. 1-6 a year ago.
The ministry gave no explanation for the decrease.
Traders and farmers unions have said blocked Ukrainian Black Sea ports and Russian attacks on Ukrainian ports on the Danube River are the main reasons for lower exports.
The exported volume included 3.5 million tons of wheat, 2.8 million tons of corn and 635,000 tons of barley.
Ukraine has traditionally shipped most of its exports through its deep water Black Sea ports.
A deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey allowing such exports collapsed in July when Russia withdrew, saying its demand that sanctions be lifted on its grain and fertilizer exports had not been met.
Ukraine's navy said this week that 12 more cargo vessels were ready to enter a fledgling Black Sea shipping corridor on their way to Ukrainian ports and 10 were preparing to leave, as Kyiv steps up a push to defy the de-facto Russian blockade.
Those figures appeared to indicate an increase in the amount of shipping traffic set to use the corridor for cargo vessels.
Ukraine can also export limited volumes through small river ports on the Danube and via its western land border with the European Union.
Ukraine is expected to harvest 79 million tons of grain and oilseed in 2023, with 2023/24 exportable surplus totals of about 50 million tons.
Written by Pavel Polityuk for Reuters
Reporting by Pavel Polityuk / Editing by Mark Potter