Ukraine Grain Exports Prepare to be Hit by Russia’s Black Sea Naval Exercise

Ukrainian corn exporters may have to redraw their routes due to Russia’s planned naval exercises on the Black Sea between February 13-19. The exporters fear a blockade could impede Ukraine’s 33.5 million metric tons of grain exports this marketing year that spans from July 2021 to June 2022.

Ukraine is one of the world’s biggest exporters of grain. The country accounts for 16% of total global corn exports and 12% of wheat. The majority of exports originate from Black Sea ports.

The news of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine has already shot the price of US corn futures up in January. Nevertheless, at that time the traders that have been working on the Black Sea market said their businesses were operating normally.

Ukrainian navy maps show that Russian naval exercises have been planned around shipping routes where vessels pass after loading wheat and corn from the ports of Odessa, Pivdennyi and Chornomorsk.

The maps also show that the exercises will block the Kerch Strait, which will prevent Ukrainian ships from leaving the ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk.

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