Ukraine Grain Exports Via Romania's Constanta Port Down 30% In Jan-April

By Reuters
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Ukraine Grain Exports Via Romania's Constanta Port Down 30% In Jan-April

Ukraine's grain exports through Romania’s Black Sea port of Constanta fell by a third on the year to 3.05 million metric tonnes in the first four months of 2024, its port authority told Reuters, as more Ukrainian exports went from Odesa.

Overall, grain exports via Constanta were up by almost 15%.

Constanta remains Kyiv's largest alternative export route since Russia's invasion in February 2022, but analysts and observers have said the drop in exports was because Ukraine was able to ship more through its own port of Odesa.

Ukraine created a shipping corridor from its own ports in August of last year, which hugs the western Black Sea coast near Romania and Bulgaria, shortly after Russia withdrew from a UN-brokered safe grain export deal.

Grain arrives in Romania by road, rail and barge across the Danube river, and the coalition government has boosted rail and river investment over the last two years using European Union funds.


Grain Exports

"Last year ... the Russians were trying to choke the Black Sea initiative, so Odesa was operating at a very low capacity, and that pushed grain out to other places," a senior US State Department official said in Bucharest in April.

"What I think is important for Constanta going forward is the investments that it has made should make it much easier and then much cheaper to move grain through the Danube and into Constanta so that it remains competitive with Odesa."

Constanta Port data, which does not include volumes handled through smaller Romanian Danube ports and rail and road exports to southern European states, showed that 890,000 tonnes of Ukrainian grain left the port in April.

However, overall grain exports in Constanta were up 14.8% on the year at 10.7 million tonnes.


Romania is one of the EU's biggest grain exporters. Constanta handles domestic grain as well as shipments from landlocked neighbours Serbia, Hungary, Moldova and Austria.

"Constanta port is prepared, there are separate corridors for transiting (Ukrainian) grain," agriculture minister Florin Barbu said. "Romanian farmers have separate port berths in 2024."

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