16 Jan 2024 15:40

Ukrainian agricultural products' transportation costs rise 15%-20% due to Romanian, Polish checkpoints' blocking - Kiev

MOSCOW. Jan 16 (Interfax) - Prices for transportation of agricultural products due to the blockade of checkpoints on the Romanian and Polish borders have soared 15%-20%, Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy Markiyan Dmitrasevich said during a national telethon, as reported by Ukrainian media.

"The main losses, this refers to transportation costs, as each day of downtime costs money, have risen 15%-20%. We also need to take the condition of our drivers into account. Now it is far from the best weather conditions. It is not pleasant to stand in queues both on the Romanian and Polish borders," he said.

The Romanian government is currently negotiating with farmers protesting at the border, Dmitrasevich said. He said he hoped that the disputed issues would be resolved soon.

"We see that there are no questions to Ukraine, there are none as such, after all. These are after all internal, domestic decisions that should be made," said Dmitrasevich.

The reason for the problems on the western borders is not in Ukraine, he said.

"It concerns the already traditional demand of farmers in the European Union, in particular, in neighboring countries. This is a request or demand to their own governments for a greater potential support for the farmers themselves," Dmitrasevich said.

Ukraine has not exported wheat, barley, corn and sunflower to Romania since September 15, Dmitrasevich said, commenting on the situation regarding supplies of Ukrainian agricultural products to Romania. Ukrainian agricultural exports are transiting via Romania, mainly through the Constanta port.

In December, Ukraine exported more than 85% of its agricultural products by sea, of which less than 20% were shipped via the Danube route and 80% via the sea corridor from the Greater Odessa ports, Dmitrasevich said.

The road transportation accounted for around 2% of the total agricultural product exports as of December 2023, he also said.

"Ukraine understands the importance of this logistics channel [by road transport routes across the western borders], as not all agricultural products can be shipped by ships via the sea corridor. In addition, Ukraine needs to have backup routes for agricultural exports. We have learned this lesson very well during the crisis," Dmitrasevich said.