The European Business Association (EBA) has called on the UN and Turkey to contribute to increasing the number of inspections of vessels loaded with Ukrainian foodstuffs, as well as continuing the grain initiative.
According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Agropolicy, in 2022, Ukraine managed to export more than 50 million tons of grain, oil crops and their processing products. More than 650 ships with Ukrainian agricultural products on board have already been sent through the “grain corridor” to the countries of Asia, Africa and Europe.
Pointing out the importance of Ukrainian grain export in order to ensure global food security, EBA called on the UN and Turkey to contribute to increasing the number of inspections of vessels within the grain initiative. “Business trusts and surely supports the grain initiative and is ready to increase transshipment volumes, however, unfortunately, there are logistical bottlenecks that block Ukrainian exports of agricultural products. In particular, according to the information of the EBA Grain and Oilseed Committee members, in January 2023, the number of inspections of ships arriving to load Ukrainian agricultural products sharply decreased to 2-3 per day. This means that vessel lay-ups will increase and ship owners and grain exporters will incur serious costs for vessel delays,” EBA said in a statement published on its website. “The European Business Association appealed to the United Nations and Embassy of the Republic of Turkey to Ukraine to do everything in power to facilitate the prolongation of the Grain Initiative including the Mykolaiv seaport hub, as well as the increase of the number of inspections of vessels with Ukrainian agricultural commodities.”
According to the grain business community of the European Business Association, in order to avoid a large crowding of vessels, as well as to effectively overcome the food crisis, especially in those countries where people suffer from hunger, it is extremely important not to allow delays in the inspections of such vessels. According to experts’ estimates, at least 25 inspections of vessels should be carried out per day for normal operation.
Since October, Ukrainian ports have been forced to work at less than half of their capacity, and every month Ukraine is not able to export 2-3 million tonnes of grain to the world market. At the same time, almost 120 ships are currently waiting for inspection in the Bosphorus. The average waiting time is from two to five weeks, which leads to losses for cargo owners.