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Ukraine's losses from Western borders blockade could reach $1.5 billion

Ukraine's losses from Western borders blockade could reach $1.5 billion Border blockade will cost Ukraine $1.5 billion in losses (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The decline in foreign trade due to restrictions on freight traffic across Ukraine's western borders in November and December could reach $1.5 billion. In November, the decrease was $860 million, and in December - $620 million, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) told RBC-Ukraine.

"According to NBU estimates, the blockade of certain land checkpoints across Ukraine's western borders caused exports to lose $160 million in November and imports to decline by $700 million," the NBU says in a response.

Higher import losses are due to its higher dependence on road transportation compared to exports, the National Bank notes.

According to the State Customs Service, in 2023, the share of road transport in the value of exports was about 35%, and imports - 70%.

"The loss of imports in November was partially compensated by increasing supplies by other means, in particular, by rail, and the loss of exports was due to an increase in supplies through the new sea corridor, the volume of traffic in which in November came close to the highest values of transportation through the grain corridor," the regulator says.

The reorientation of imported fuel supplies to rail transport, further increase in transshipment of both export and import cargo through the new sea corridor, and some easing of the blockade during the second decade of December make it possible to reduce estimates of further export losses to $120 million per month and imports to $500 million per month.

As of December 17, the average daily number of trucks crossing the Polish border since the beginning of the blockade (November 6) has decreased by 40% compared to the average value in October, according to the eCheck system.

Blockade of the border with Poland

In early November, Polish carriers began blockading several checkpoints on the border with Ukraine. They demand that the EU cancel the "transport visa-free regime" with Ukraine. They have been joined by carriers from Slovakia.

Last week, the blockade of the Yahodyn-Dorohusk checkpoint was lifted, but on December 18, it resumed.

The newly appointed Minister of Infrastructure of Poland, Dariusz Klimczak, said that it was difficult to unblock the border with Ukraine.