According to the International Grain Council, Ukraine was the fourth largest exporter of corn in the world last season and the sixth exporter of wheat. The grain blockage is considered one of the causes of high food prices, which according to the FAO, hit record highs in March as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, before easing slightly in April.
“This is an almost bizarre situation that we currently see in Ukraine with nearly 25 million tonnes of grain that can be exported, but unable to leave the country simply because of inadequate infrastructure and port blockades,” said FAO Deputy Director Josef Schmidhuber. He added that full strength could result in a lack of storage space during the next harvest in July and August. According to him, there are also concerns that some grain warehouses were destroyed in the fighting in Ukraine.
Since Moscow launched what it called a “special military operation” in late February, Ukraine has been forced to export grain no longer by sea, but by rail across the western border or from its small river port on the Danube.
“It would really help the world if we could evacuate this grain (from Ukraine),” said World Trade Organization (WTO) director Ngozi Okonj-Iweala. “There is a serious risk that food prices will rise and become inaccessible, which could lead to greater hunger,” he added.
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