14 Jun 2022 14:20

Ukraine exported 800,000 tonnes of grain by rail in May, as much as existing infrastructure can handle

MOSCOW. June 14 (Interfax) - Ukraine exported 807,000 tonnes of grain in May, 20.4% more than in April and as much as existing railway infrastructure can handle, Oleksandr Kamyshin, the head of national railway operator JSC Ukrzaliznytsia said in a comment for Forbes.

"We must think in terms of end-to-end infrastructure for us to be able to export an additional 300,000-400,000 tonnes. We are negotiating with Poland on allowing grain carriers to run on its territory. Then we'll need our own operator there and, in parallel, wherever possible, to bring narrow track railway branches into our territory [the gauge is 1,435 mm in Poland]," Ukrainian media quoted him as saying.

Kamyshin said Ukraine used to export 5-7 million tonnes of grain per month, half of it by rail via Ukrainian seaports. Ukrzaliznytsia shipped a record 4.1 million tonnes of grain cargo in November 2021.

"Now we need to increase transshipment at European ports and we need more freight cars to deliver Ukrainian grain there from the Polish border. Some 20 million tonnes of the old harvest is stored in warehouses [in Ukraine]. So we have to export 5 million tonnes per month by all modes of transport. We are exporting practically 1.2 million tonnes. If we operate effectively we can reach 2 million tonnes of grain, the most we are capable of without significant infrastructure development," Kamyshin said.

Ukraine exported 1.74 million tonnes of grains, oilseed crops and processed farm produce in May, 80% more than in April 2022, including 959,350 tonnes of corn, up 60%; 43,500 tonnes of wheat, up 370%; 11,600 tonnes of barley, down 2%; 341,800 tonnes of sunflower seeds, up 230%; 66,620 tonnes of soybeans, up 17%; and 101,000 tonnes of meal, up 160%.