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U.S. State Department names Ukraine's main grain export route

U.S. State Department names Ukraine's main grain export route Illustrative photo (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

Romania remains Ukraine's largest alternative export route for grain and other goods, in addition to Kyiv's Black Sea corridor, according to the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, James O'Brien.

According to him, in December, Ukraine exported about 7.5 million tons of grain, mostly through its own corridor and also via Constanta.

"I see going forward some kind of a balance like that. I think, just holding the levels of export we have now, about seven million tons of grain, and another million or so tons of other items a month, would mean more than $25 billion a year in GDP for the Ukrainian economy. That's five to six billion dollars in tax revenue," he said.

In 2023, through the Romanian port of Constanta, 14 million metric tons of grain were exported, constituting approximately 40% of the total grain shipments from the port for the year, compared to 8.6 million tons in 2022.

However, transit volumes declined in the second half of the year after Russia targeted several river ports in Ukraine located on the Danube from the Romanian side—a member of the EU and NATO.

"Grain corridor"

In mid-July, Russia withdrew from the "grain deal," which allowed Ukrainian grain to be exported through the Black Sea. Following this, Ukraine decided to resume exports without Russia's involvement. The Russians are actively trying to disrupt the operation of the grain corridor, including strikes on ports and infrastructure.

In August, Ukraine opened temporary corridors for civilian commercial vessels. The routes are primarily intended for ships that have been in Ukrainian ports since the beginning of the war.

As the Deputy Prime Minister for the Development of Communities, Territories, and Infrastructure of Ukraine, Oleksandr Kubrakov, previously reported, that as of December 4, 200 ships had already passed through the temporary corridor. They exported over 7 million tons of cargo from Odessa ports. Currently, this figure is much higher.