1 Jun 2022 16:33

Queues in Romania costing Ukrainian agricultural exporters $500,000 per day - EBA

MOSCOW. June 1 (Interfax) - Queues in Romania are costing Ukrainian agricultural exporters $500,000 per day, the European Business Association in Ukraine said in a report posted on its website.

"Many Ukrainian ports remain blocked. Given the current circumstances, Ukrainian products are exported partially through the Danube ports and the Sulina Sea Canal. The EBA member companies report that nearly 90 vessels are currently queuing near the Sulina Canal. They will stay in the queue for an average of 10 days or more. It is worth noting that every day of stoppage costs Ukrainian exporters about $500,000 per day," the EBA said.

EBA Logistics Committee experts have appealed to the UN Secretary-General, the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, and the Chargé d'Affaires of Ukraine in Romania to implement certain measures in the Danube region to resolve the situation.

The companies propose to enable the inspection of at least six vessels at a time - as of now, Romania provides only two berths for this purpose - and to increase the opening hours of the Sulina Canal and allow traffic through the canal at night, so that its capacity can be doubled.

"It would also be appropriate to allow extraordinary registration of vessels if there is a free berth," the EBA said. It said the maximum allowable speed can be increased depending on the technical condition of the channel and its status. This can be also applied to one-way traffic. "Also, business considers the possibility of roadstead transshipment in the ports of Sulina and Konstanta as well as along the 61st mile of the Danube River provided there is full loading which means an absence of available ports' capacity," the EBA said.

"We consider such measures implementable and effective to accelerate traffic flows on the Danube and help unblock agricultural exports from Ukraine," it said.

Ukraine exported up to 5 million tonnes of agricultural products through the ports of Odesa and Mykolaiv prior to the Russian military operation, but now, due to their blockade, the country can transport only export around 1 million tonnes of grain per month.

Ukrainian Agrarian Policy Minister Mykola Solsky has said Ukraine exported 1.09 million tonnes of grain mainly through Romanian ports in April, more than five times as much as in March.

But Ukrainian agricultural logistics via Romania may become more complicated and slow in June, when new crops of Romanian, Serbian, Hungarian and Bulgarian winter wheat and barley begins to arrive at the country's seaports and competes with supplies from Ukraine.