July 13, 2022
Ukraine ships pass important rivermouth, possible increase in grain exports
Yuriy Vaskov, Ukraine's Deputy Infrastructure Minister, said 16 ships have passed through the the Bystre rivermouth, an important mouth of the Danube river, sparking hopes of increased grain exports despite Russia's blockade of Black Sea Ports, Reuers reported.
According to the ministry, more than 90 additional vessels were waiting their turn in Romania's Sulina canal as the 16 vessels waited to be loaded with Ukrainian grain for export to foreign markets.
He said that the Sulina route could only accommodate four ships per day, whereas eight were required. However, he said Ukraine was in talks with its counterparts in Romania as well as officials from the European Commission about increasing the rate of crossings.
He said that if these conditions were met and the Bystre was opened, Ukraine anticipated that the ship congestion would end within a week and that monthly grain exports would rise by 500,000 tonnes.
Approximately 80% of Ukraine's agricultural exports were made through seaports prior to Russia's invasion, the ministry said, but food exports are now only made through Danube ports, railroads, and roads to the west.