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Transport difficulties led to 7% drop in Ukraine food exports - institute

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Difficulties with transport and logistics led to a 7% year-on-year drop in Ukraine's exports of agrarian products in the year to November, and also pushed up the cost of imported food, the National Institute of Agrarian Economics said on Monday.

Trucks with grain wait for crossing the Ukraine-Moldova border in Odesa region Reuters/Igor Tkachenko

Difficulties with transport and logistics led to a 7% year-on-year drop in Ukraine's exports of agrarian products in the year to November, and also pushed up the cost of imported food, the National Institute of Agrarian Economics said on Monday.

Food accounts for 60% of all exports from Ukraine, a major producer and exporter of grain and oils, but the union of agriculture producers says difficulties in getting products across land borders or shipped out from ports due to the war with Russia have made farm products unprofitable.

The same issues have also raised food import costs 16% to $6.2 billion since the beginning of the year, the institute said.

The institute cited data from the state customs service that shows Ukraine exported $19.6 billion worth of agrarian goods since January, with grains, vegetable oil and meat products accounting for 87% of that value.

It said the capacity of the Black Sea corridor which Ukraine launched as an alternative to its Black Sea ports which are blocked by Russia was still "too small to meet real needs", adding that import bans and restrictions by Poland, Hungary and Slovakia on certain Ukrainian products had created additional difficulties.

"The existing obstacles not only lead to a general decline in revenues for Ukrainian sectoral exporters, but also make any measures of foreign economic activity ineffective and unpredictable," the institute said.

By Pavel Polityuk

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