Ukraine's exports through an alternative Black Sea shipping corridor have reached almost four million metric tonnes since the route started operating in August, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said.
Ukraine launched a 'humanitarian corridor' for ships bound for African and Asian markets to try to circumvent a de facto blockade in the Black Sea after Russia quit a United Nations-brokered deal that had guaranteed Kyiv's seaborne exports during the war.
Ukrainian officials said the route which runs along Ukraine's southwest Black Sea coast, into Romanian territorial waters and onwards to Türkiye, would also be used for grain shipments.
"The grain corridor is working. We are now overcoming the four million tonnes mark and maintaining positive dynamics," Zelenskiy said on the Telegram messaging app.
Ukrainian transport authorities last week said 91 vessels exported 3.3 million metric tonnes of agricultural and metal products as of 9 November.
The situation with exports along the route became more complicated last week when a Russian missile hit a civilian vessel in an Odesa region port.
Officials said the route continued to operate, but brokers reported a rise in freight prices.
Ukrainian grain exports have fallen to 9.8 million metric tonnes as of 6 November in the 2023/24 July-June marketing season from 14.3 million tonnes a season earlier.
The ministry gave no explanation for the drop but traders and farmers' unions have said blocked Ukrainian Black Sea ports and Russian attacks on the country's Danube River ports are the main reasons for lower exports.
Ukraine has traditionally shipped most of its exports through its deep water Black Sea ports.