Ukraine halts grain shipments amid increased Russian aerial threat near export corridor
Photo - Oleksandr Kubrakov

Ukraine has suspended the use of the new Black Sea grain corridor due to a threat from Russian warplanes, reported the Barva Invest consulting company.

The ban is currently in effect on Thursday, but it is possible that it will be extended.

"On the evening of October 25, the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority published a notice that the movement of vessels to and from the corridor will be suspended from October 26, 2023," the message said.

The de facto grain corridor has not been working for the third day – the plans for the movement of ships are not approved by the military, writes Latifundist with reference to a source from the Ministry of Infrastructure.

"The process looks like this: every day we make a plan for the movement of ships for the next day. Then we agree it with the military. And only after agreement with them, it is implemented. The situation is that yesterday the movement was not agreed, today too. They do not explain the reasons," said the interlocutor of the publication on Wednesday.

Read also: Despite risks, Kyiv succeeds in Black Sea naval campaign to restore vital export channels

The owner of one of the terminals in the port of Great Odesa said that the military explained the ban with an "explosive threat" after the activation of the Russian aviation.

On Wednesday, the spokeswoman of the Joint Coordination Center of the Operational Command "South" Natalia Humenyuk reported that the Russian tactical aviation in the area of the maritime trade route over the Black Sea water area became active and dropped four explosive devices.

According to the calculations of the Ukrainian Grain Association, every day of delay of ships loaded with grain in the ports of Greater Odesa leads to losses at the level of $1-1.5 per ton of products per day. Losses for the exporter due to the delay of the 50,000-tonne Handysize at the port cost $50-75,000 per day, which it is forced to pay to the shipowner.

Ukraine organized a temporary route from the ports of Greater Odesa after Russia pulled out of the UN-Turkey-backed "grain corridor" agreement in July.

For some time after that, shipowners were afraid to work with Ukraine in view of Russia's threats to consider the ships as potential weapons carriers.

The risks remain the same, but the number of vessels entering Ukrainian ports is increasing.

On October 1, 2023, the largest port of Ukraine accepted the inbound fleet for loading for the first time since spring.

On October 14, another caravan consisting of three ships entered the ports of Great Odesa.

On October 25, Ukraine started negotiations on the export "green corridor" through Moldova to Romania.