The Ukrainian grain industry is lobbying the governments of Ukraine and Romania to set up anchorage areas in the waters of both countries to help increase outbound grain shipments via the Danube River.
(Bloomberg) — The Ukrainian grain industry is lobbying the governments of Ukraine and Romania to set up anchorage areas in the waters of both countries to help increase outbound grain shipments via the Danube River.
The Danube has become Ukraine’s main crop-export route after the country’s Black Sea ports were closed in the wake of Moscow’s move in July to pull out of a pact that provided a safe corridor for shipments.
Ukraine needs to ship at least 4 million tons of grains and oilseeds a month because of a better-than-expected harvest, said Mykola Gorbachov, president of the Ukrainian Grain Association. Anchor stations that allow ships to be loaded from barges directly at sea may add as much as 1 million tons of grain export capacity to ports on the Danube, he said in an interview this week.
Areas near the Danube ports of Reni and Izmail have suffered repeated Russian attacks since Moscow left the Black Sea agreement, causing damage to storage facilities. Still, shipping operations have not been affected, and August exports were likely to be around the same as July, or 2.1 million tons, Gorbachov said.
A platform allowing ships to be loaded directly at sea may start operating in Ukrainian waters within two weeks, adding about 200,000 tons a month to export capacity, he said. Romania is considering the addition of a platform in Constanta, and the association is asking the government there for more.
The group sees Ukrainian exports of grains and oilseeds, including wheat, corn, barley, soybeans and rapeseed, reaching about 50 million tons this year compared with 58 million tons a year earlier.
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