Over the past two months, Russia has carried out a wave of drone attacks on Ukrainian ports on the Danube. After Russia withdrew from the grain agreement in July, the occupiers destroyed 280,000 tons.
According to the Financial Times, Ukraine, which produces half of the world's sunflower oil exports and 10% of wheat, has exported about 35 million tons of grain via the Danube over the past 12 months. Over the past two months, Russia has carried out a wave of drone attacks on Ukrainian ports on the Danube in an attempt to destroy Ukrainian economic infrastructure and export routes established to break Moscow's naval blockade in the Black Sea.
Viktor Berestenko, president of the Association of International Freight Forwarders of Ukraine, estimated that it costs about $116 per ton to export a ton of grain to Egypt via the Danube, compared to about $69 before the Russian invasion last year.
Instead, Kernel's executive director Yevgeny Osypov predicts that high costs will weaken Ukrainian grain production and lead to exports halving in 2024 compared to last year's level to about 35 million tons.
In August, 64% of Ukrainian agricultural exports were transported through Danube ports.
In August, despite all the obstacles, Ukraine managed to increase exports of agricultural products to 4.3 million tons, which is 16% more than in July.
Dmytro Solomchuk, member of the Commission of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Agricultural and Land Policy, noted that Ukraine needs to increase grain exports to 5.5-6 million tons per month, if this does not happen, the country's agricultural sector may lose at least $3 – $4 billion a year.