Ukraine Wheat Exports Close to Prewar Levels

Oct. 21, 2022
But they depend on a fragile agreement with Russia.

Ukraine has resumed wheat exports at a level that nearly matches what it was exporting before Russia’s invasion, but it’s a situation that could fall apart at any time.

Ukraine exported 6.9 million metric tons of grain, vegetables and edible oils in September, nearly matching the 7.1 million it shipped in September 2021. These export levels were made possible by an agreement with Russia to allow cargo ships to leave ports in the Black Sea, the venue by which a majority of Ukraine’s grain is shipped.

The situation is important because Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat and other commodities; when Russia invaded in February, the global price of wheat jumped 46%, according to the Wall Street Journal. Many developing nations, especially in Africa and the Middle East, see Ukrainian wheat as an important food source.

The arrangement with Russia, brokered in July with the help of the United Nations, allows Ukraine to export wheat and other goods, but it’s a precarious deal between two adversaries locked in a bitter war, and Russia has hinted several times about withdrawing.

About the Author

Pan Demetrakakes | Senior Editor

Pan has written about the food and beverage industry for more than 25 years. His areas of coverage have included formulations, processing, packaging, marketing and retailing. Pan worked for Food Processing Magazine for six years in the 1990s, where he was operations editor (his current role), touring dozens of food plants of every description. He has also worked for Packaging and Food & Beverage Packaging magazines, the latter as chief editor, during which he won three ASBPE awards. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a BA in communications.

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