November 2, 2023


Russian wheat pushes growth of Black Sea dry bulk exports during January-October 2023




Russia's wheat exports have driven dry bulk exports out of the Black Sea to rise by 13% year-on-year between January and October this year.


After two strong consecutive wheat harvests in Russia, the country's exports are now on track to reach a new record in 2023. However, Black Sea export volumes are 20% lower than in 2021 due to the loss of Ukrainian cargoes following Russia's invasion of the country.


So far in 2023, Russian dry bulk exports through Black Sea ports increased by 21% year-on-year, due to a 78% year-on-year surge in wheat exports. The country has specifically boosted the export of wheat to Africa and the Middle East. This has helped mitigate a weak harvest in Argentina and lower exports from Ukraine.


The Black Sea is an important basin for grains, as they account for 60% to 70% of Black Sea export cargo.


The increase in Russian wheat exports is positive for global food security and shipping. However, Black Sea shipping is challenged due to the end of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, damages to port infrastructure in Ukraine and war risks.



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