Romania's Black Sea port of Constanta shipped a record 29.4 million metric tonnes of grain in the first 10 months of this year, with supply from Ukraine accounting for 40% of that, the port authority told Reuters.
Ukraine is one of the world's biggest grain exporters, and Constanta has become Kyiv's largest alternative export route since Russia invaded it last year, with grains arriving by road, rail or barge across the Danube.
During January-October, it shipped 11.7 million tonnes of grain through Constanta, up from 10.5 million at the end of September and from 8.6 million in total in 2022.
But Kyiv's transit volumes have fallen in recent months, as Russia has repeatedly struck its river ports that lie across the Danube from European Union and NATO member Romania, while road border crossings into Poland and Slovakia were blocked by local truckers seeking restrictions on Ukrainian drivers.
Constanta's previous all-time annual high stood at a little over 25 million tonnes. The data does not include volumes handled through smaller Romanian Danube ports.
A government source told Reuters Constanta now had a logistics capacity of 40 million tonnes of grain per year.
The Romanian government has said it aims to double the monthly transit capacity for Ukrainian grain to 4 million tonnes in coming months, with investment in infrastructure ongoing both in Constanta and on the Danube.
Port operators have also invested in equipment to increase loading speeds. Ukrainian grain competes for space in Constanta, which traditionally handles Romania's crop exports and those of its landlocked neighbours, including Hungary and Serbia.
Earlier this week, the United Nations warned that Ukraine's wheat production may be unable to meet domestic and export demand in the years to come if Black Sea export routes remain blocked and attacks on food infrastructure continue.