Press Releases

Increasing the transit capacity in the Bosporus is essential to guarantee the future viability of Ukrainian grain and oilseed exports to countries where the livelihood of populations depends on them

Brussels, 29 November 2022 – COCERAL, the European association of trade in cereals, oilseeds, rice, pulses, olive oil, oils and fats, animal feed and agrosupply, welcomes the recent extension of the Black Sea Corridor for another 120 days under the same provisions as agreed by the parties to the Initiative. The Black Sea Corridor has been essential in guaranteeing global food security.

However, COCERAL and its members express concern as regards to the long-term possibility of providing Ukrainian grain and oilseeds to the world market. A major escalation of the war on Wednesday 23rd November, as Russia fired over 70 cruise missiles across the country, caused major damage to infrastructure. This left over half the country without power, which resulted in ports becoming inoperable, including those on the Danube River. Continuous attacks on infrastructure are impacting the viability of grain exports and could result in increased shortages and food prices.

Furthermore, COCERAL and its members have been observing increasing delays in inspections by the Joint Coordination Centre, with reports of waiting times of up to 40 days. The cost of these delays is unfortunately going back upstream on the Ukrainian supply chain and forces Ukrainian farmers to sell their products at discounted prices. As such, COCERAL and its members calls for more transparency in the inspections, such as publication of data on inbound vessels and clarification on the rules on the prioritisation of vessels.

Congestion in the Black Sea Corridor and ongoing strikes on the Ukrainian infrastructure, notably on terminals and silos, brings further pressure on food security globally. COCERAL calls on the UN the Joint Coordination Centre and the EU institutions to further examine solutions to alleviate the strains on the export of grain and oilseed.