The Ukraine Report: What can the country expect after recent port attacks?

With the Black Sea Grain Deal no longer in place, Ukrainian exporters are faced with more uncertainty than ever.

Latifundist Media has partnered with us to provide boots-on-the-ground coverage:

Russia has attacked the port and elevator infrastructure of the Danube River three times since the start of the month. For the last time, on the night of September 6, Russians damaged a grain elevator, and an employee of one of the agricultural enterprises died from injuries.

With no grain corridor, the Danube is the main artery for Ukraine’s grain exports. In August, Ukraine managed to export over 88 million bushels of grain via this river.

What do producers and traders expect after the attacks on the Danube ports?

We are talking to the director of Teus Terminal Dmitry Kazanin. Eight weeks ago, his grain warehouses were hit by a kamikaze drone. The market is now working, and ships are coming to the berths. However, fewer and fewer ships are willing to call because of the serious risk. And those who are prepared to do so are charging a high price. It has tripled. However, as for barges, even taking into account the cost, they are available.

These are vessels of Teus Terminal and other Ukrainian companies, as well as Romanian ones. Early grains are unprofitable now, especially wheat, which is in low demand for shipping. The demand for rapeseed is high today. In a few weeks, it will be replaced by soybeans and oilseed meal.

Temporary sea corridors for ships carrying grain are a kind of alternative to the grain deal, unblocking vessels in ports. Recently, 4 ships have departed Ukrainian deepwater ports, but the situation is fragile. The big question is will the ships come back? We need them to come, load, and leave. That is why it is very important that the grain corridor starts working again.

Turkey is also committed to the renewal of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. For this purpose, Turkish President Recep Erdogan visited Russia to negotiate with the Russian president Putin. But so far, the talks have turned fruitless. Instead, Erdogan suggests that Ukraine “softens its approach” to dealing with Russia.

In particular, Ukraine should ease its attitude so that it can take joint steps with Russia in the future. Erdogan also stated that Russia, Turkey, and Qatar intend to support African countries by sending them flour.

In addition, the Turkish leader supported Putin’s offer to send around 37 million bushels of grain to the poorest countries. It is interesting how much of this volume was stolen from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

That report was powered by Latifundist Media, with USAID support provided through Agriculture Growing Rural Opportunities (AGRO) Activity implemented in Ukraine by Chemonics International. For more information, visit their website or follow them on social media.