Ukraine’s Danube ports export over 4m tonnes of grain
The ports of Izmail, Reni and Kiliia were the country’s only operating ports until the implementation of the Black Sea grain initiative in early August. Investments in infrastructure could see capacity increase to 25m tonnes per year
Ukraine’s small river ports ramped up activity in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion to keep trade flowing into and out of Ukraine. The ports are still working at capacity a month following the opening of three designated grain export hubs
UKRAINE’s Danube ports have transported more than 4m tonnes of grain since March, according to Ukraine minister of infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov.
That is currently more than by all other modes of transportation.
The ports of Izmail, Reni and Kiliia recorded 439 outbound sailings to foreign ports in the second quarter of this year, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence data.
That is over seven times greater than the 58 sailings seen during the same period in 2021.
Türkiye is the most popular destination for vessels travelling from the Danube ports. The country accounted for 40% of all foreign departures from Ukraine’s river ports between March and July.
Romania is a close second, with 237 arrivals during the same period, which accounts for 34% of the international journeys.
Some 20 countries have accepted ships from Ukraine’s smaller river ports between March and July. Among them are Bulgaria (44 arrivals), Egypt (38), Italy (23), Lebanon (22) and Greece (11).
General cargoships are the main vessel types departing Izmail, Reni and Kiliia, accounting for 76% of sailings to foreign ports between April to June. Tankers represented 10% of departures and bulk carriers 4%.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Infrastructure is working to improve exports logistics on the Danube, specifically to improve connections between the ports using rail.
“Subject to systemic investments and the implementation of the programme for the modernisation of the Danube ports, it is possible to increase their capacity to 25m tonnes of cargo per year,” said Mr Kubrakov.
A joint project between the Ministry of Infrastructure and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has launched focusing on export logistics in the Bessarabia region, located in the southwestern corner of Ukraine.
The Black Sea grain initiative has not slowed traffic out of Ukraine’s Danube ports, which saw over 300 departures in August according to preliminary data.
As of September 4, more than 2m tonnes has been exported through Ukraine’s export hubs, according to the Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul, which oversees ships travelling the grain corridor from the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhnyi.