According to the quoted source, the blockades are perceived as one of the causes of high food prices, which reached a record level in March, following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, before falling slightly in April.
“It is an almost grotesque situation that we are witnessing at the moment in Ukraine, with about 25 million tons of grain that could be exported, but which cannot leave the country simply because of the lack of infrastructure, the blocked ports.” , said Josef Schmidhuber, Deputy Director of FAO, Markets and Trade Division, News.ro reports.
Schmidhuber said the situation could exacerbate the lack of storage space during the next harvest in July and August.
“Despite the war, the harvest conditions are not so alarming. This could really mean that there is not enough storage capacity in Ukraine, especially if there is no open wheat corridor for export to Ukraine, ”said the FAO representative.
Another concern is that some grain depots were destroyed in the fighting in Ukraine, he added, without giving details.
Ukraine was the world’s fourth largest exporter of corn in the 2020/21 season and the sixth largest exporter of wheat, according to the International Council on Cereals. However, since Moscow launched a so-called “special military operation” in late February, Ukraine has been forced to export grain by rail across the western border or from small Danube river ports.
Earlier this week, the head of the World Trade Organization told Reuters that she was “deeply concerned” about rising food prices and was working with other partners to find solutions.
“It would be really beneficial if we could evacuate these grains (from Ukraine). There is a serious risk that food prices will rise and fall in terms of accessibility, which could lead to an increase in hunger, “said Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
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