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The first shipment of corn from Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion has left the port of Constanta

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Ukraine, Europe’s “granary” and the world’s fourth-largest grain exporter, has been forced to export grain by train across the western border or across the Danube’s river ports in Romania because Ukrainian seaports are blocked by more than two months.

“This is the first panamax vessel (term for size limits for vessels traveling through the Panama Canal – ed.) With corn from Ukraine leaving the port,” Comvex President Viorel Panait told Reuters.

The cargo ship is Unity N, according to Reuters.

“Supporting Ukrainian grain exports means preventing a colossal wave of global famine triggered by the blockade of Ukrainian ports,” Panait said.

Comvex operates the fastest grain loading terminal in Europe, which can process up to 70,000 tons per day, as well as a mineral handling terminal, said Panait, who is also the president of the Constanţa Port Business Association.

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Earlier this week, Comvex loaded about 35,000 tons of iron ore from Ukraine, with a second ship to be loaded around May 15, he said.

“Compared to the initial moment, when everyone was looking for alternatives, the transport corridors for these exports are slowly taking shape,” Panait added.

About 80,000 tons of grain from Ukraine have been transported to Constanta so far, and another 80,000 have been approved and are on their way, the Constanta Port manager said on Tuesday.

Romania, a member of the European Union, has borders on the Black Sea, which is a major artery for transporting grain and oil, with Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Ukraine and Russia, Reuters explains.

“The infrastructure around the port is a problem for all economic activity in Romania… slow access generates additional costs in these industries,” Panait said.

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He welcomed the Romanian government’s plans to rehabilitate several railway lines linking ports and borders with Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Armed Forces General Staff has accused Russia of stealing grain from peasants in the occupied territory, an act it says has increased the threat to global food security, especially for the Middle Eastern and North African countries that depend on it. of imports. The likely wholesale outage of this year’s crop could be a disaster, causing food shortages and rising prices for essential agricultural products.

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