3 Aug 2023 19:59

Ukrainian businesses continuing agricultural exports despite difficulties - minister

MOSCOW. Aug 3 (Interfax) - Despite all difficulties, Ukrainian businesses are continuing to export agricultural products, Ukrainian media quoted Agrarian Policy and Food Minister Nikolai Solsky as saying during a national TV marathon.

Apart from seaports, Ukraine can export its foods by rail and by road, Solsky said. That said, there are some nuances with exports of four grain crops, namely wheat, corn, rapeseed, and sunflower, whose imports from Ukraine have been banned by Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia, Solsky said.

"We have nuances with four crops that we can't export to five countries. However, we can deliver them farther. Some crops, which are more expensive, can survive the logistics, and cheaper ones cannot," he said.

Ukraine has not yet started harvesting corn, its main export crop, which would be hard to ship due to logistical issues, although the government is in negotiations on facilitating its exports, Solsky said. In particular, Ukraine is negotiating with the European Union on compensating for logistical costs because of longer shipment routes and the need to reload shipments at the Hamburg port and at Baltic and Adriatic ports, he said.

Romania and Moldova in summer 2023 reviewed their transit railroad tariffs to facilitate shipments toward Romanian ports on the Danube and in Constanta in the Black Sea, Solsky said.

The EU's central bodies are aware of Ukraine's problems and they do not plan prolonging the restrictions on imports of agricultural products to the five neighboring countries, Solsky said.

However, the aforementioned countries could extend the import bans individually, as Poland did in spring, and Ukraine has heard Poland's statements on July 19 that it might possibly extend the import ban, he said.

The Ukrainian government is continuing negotiations at various levels to settle the problem, Solsky said.