Ukraine seeks further Romanian help in shifting grain exports 

Desperate to up the amount of grain it can transport Ukraine has asked Romania’s Constanta Black Sea port to allow ship-to-ship grain transfers .

The request was made by Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company (UDP), a firm, who claim the move would almost double its barge export capacity.

With the end of the United Nations-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative two months ago, Ukraine has had to lean heavily on shipping in a wide circle inland and down to Constanta for much of its grain exports (see map below). 

Constanta has become one of Europe’s most congested ports in recent months. UDP, for its part, says it has some 600 barges at the Romanian port , with waiting times for unloading in port sometimes stretching to up to two months.

The port is already operating above its design capacity. To this end, the Romanian government earlier this month committed $300m to expand the port in an expansion project expected to take three years to complete.

“This is clear and concrete proof that Romania is undertaking serious efforts to support Ukraine, by supporting its grain transit, but also to interconnect the region’s infrastructure for economic security,” Romania’s prime minister Marcel Ciolacu said earlier this month.

In the first half of 2023, Constanta Port facilitated the transit of 7.5m tons of Ukrainian grain, compared to 8.7m tons for all of last year.

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