Stanford Grain Company
               309-379-2141 Tel 866-379-2141 Toll-free
                             207 West Main Street - Stanford IL 61774 
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Stanford Grain Co.
Farmer Portal
Cash Bids
Offer System
Market Data
Weather Maps
Corn and Soybean Profit and Loss Calculator
Make an Offer
2023 Fall Policy
ACH Payment Form
Printable Page Headline News   Return to Menu - Page 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 13
Ukraine Ships Through Black S 11/27 06:47


   KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- Grain thunders into rail cars and trucks zip around a 
storage facility in central Ukraine, a place that growing numbers of companies 
turned to as they struggled to export their food to people facing hunger around 
the world.

   Now, more of the grain is getting unloaded from overcrammed silos and 
heading to ports on the Black Sea, set to traverse a fledgling shipping 
corridor launched after Russia pulled out of a U.N.-brokered agreement this 
summer that allowed food to flow safely from Ukraine during the war.

   "It was tight, but we kept working ... we sought how to accept every ton of 
products needed for our partners," facility general director Roman Andreikiv 
said about the end of the grain deal in July. Ukraine's new corridor, protected 
by the military, has now allowed him to "free up warehouse space and increase 

   Growing numbers of ships are streaming toward Ukraine's Black Sea ports and 
heading out loaded with grain, metals and other cargo despite the threat of 
attack and floating explosive mines. It's giving a boost to Ukraine's 
agriculture-dependent economy and bringing back a key source of wheat, corn, 
barley, sunflower oil and other affordable food products for parts of Africa, 
the Middle East and Asia where local prices have risen and food insecurity is 

   "We are seeing renewed confidence among commercial operators keen to take 
Ukrainian grain cargoes," said Munro Anderson, head of operations for Vessel 
Protect, which assesses war risks at sea and provides insurance with backing 
from Lloyd's, whose members make up the world's largest insurance marketplace.

   Ihor Osmachko, general director of Agroprosperis Group, one of Ukraine's 
biggest agricultural producers and exporters, says he's feeling "more 
optimistic than two months ago."

   "At that time, it was completely unclear how to survive," he said.

   Since the company's first vessel departed in mid-September, it says it has 
shipped more than 300,000 metric tons of grain to Egypt, Spain, China, 
Bangladesh, the Netherlands, Tunisia and Turkey.

   After ending the agreement brokered by the U.N. and Turkey, Russia has 
attacked Ukraine's Black Sea ports --- a vital connection to global trade -- 
and grain infrastructure, destroying enough food to feed over 1 million people 
for a year, the U.K. government said.

   The risk to vessels is the main hurdle for the new shipping corridor. 
Russia, whose officials haven't commented on the corridor, warned this summer 
that ships heading to Ukraine's Black Sea ports would be assumed to be carrying 

   Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that allies had agreed to 
provide ships to help his country protect commercial vessels in the Black Sea 
but that more air defense systems were needed.

   "Air defense is in short supply," he told reporters Saturday at an 
international food security summit in Kyiv. "But what's important is that we 
have agreements, we have a positive signal and the corridor is operational."

   While a deadly missile strike on the port of Odesa hit a Liberian-flagged 
commercial ship this month, not long afterward, insurers, brokers and banks 
teamed up with the Ukrainian government to announce affordable coverage for 
Black Sea grain shipments, offering shippers peace of mind.

   Despite such attacks, Ukraine has exported over 5.6 million metric tons of 
grain and other products through the new corridor, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine 
Bridget Brink tweeted Friday. Before the war, it was nearly double that per 
month, Ukrainian Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka said.

   "The way that they're transporting right now, it's certainly much more 
expensive and time consuming," said Kelly Goughary, a senior research analyst 
at agriculture data and analytics firm Gro Intelligence.

   "But they are getting product out the door, which is better than I think 
many were anticipating with the grain initiative coming to an end," she said.

   Farmers also are facing low prices for their grain, which makes sending 
trucks to Odesa's often-attacked port not worth the risk for one agricultural 
company near the front line.

   Instead, Slavhorod, which farms near the border with Russia in the Sumy 
province that faces daily shelling, has chosen to store its peas, wheat, 
soybeans, sunflower and corn in warehouses.

   There's risk in keeping the 3,500-hectare (8,650-acre) farm running at all: 
Signs warned of explosive mines near where workers were collecting corn in a 
field 3 kilometers (nearly 2 miles) from Russia.

   But "who, if not us? It's the only industry that brings some income to the 
country," said Slavhorod's chief agronomist, Oleksandr Kubrakov, who survived 
driving over a mine last year.

   But it's becoming increasingly challenging to maintain morale.

   "This year, there is less enthusiasm because grain prices are low, the 
product remains near the border and at any moment" it could be destroyed, he 
said. "It's a big risk."

   Since the war started, Ukraine has struggled to get its food supplies to 
countries in need. Even during the yearlong U.N. deal, when Ukraine shipped 
nearly 33 million metric tons of food, Russia was accused of slowing down ship 
inspections required to be done by all sides.

   "That corridor worked in an unpredictable way for us," said Mykola 
Horbachov, president of the Ukrainian Grain Association.

   Now, the Ukrainian military decides when it's safe to sail.

   "This may incur additional costs, but it is still more predictable than it 
was before," Horbachov said.

   Osmachko of Agroprosperis Group agrees. Before the invasion, the exporter 
paid $50 per metric ton to ship grain through the Black Sea. Alternatives since 
the war --- including river routes through Europe --- cost the company nearly 
three times more, Osmachko said. Under Ukraine's new corridor, the company pays 
$70 to 80 per metric ton.

   "It's more efficient, more profitable," he said.

   Plus, Ukraine's shipping corridor allows vessels to travel less in dangerous 
areas compared with the grain deal and avoid those often-delayed inspections, 
said Anderson of Vessel Protect.

   Agroprosperis Group no longer needs to pay for ships to wait around. 
Inspection delays cost the company $30 million in losses during the yearlong 
grain deal, Osmachko said.

   While the delays are gone, there still "is military risk, safety risk, war 
risk. And not all of the insurance companies are ready to take this risk," 
Osmachko said.

   To ease that hurdle, an insurance program launched this month to provide 
affordable coverage to shippers carrying food from Ukraine's Black Sea ports. 
The partnership between insurance broker Marsh McLennan, Lloyd's, two Ukrainian 
state banks and the government offers up to $50 million for each of two types 
of coverage protecting against damage and other losses.

   In another boost, a humanitarian program was extended Saturday that donates 
Ukrainian grain to nations facing food shortages with support from countries 
worldwide. Next, it will bring enough grain to help nearly 400,000 people in 
Nigeria, Zelenskyy said.

   The goal for the new shipping corridor is to export at least 6 million 
metric tons of grain a month, Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi 
said. It has a lot of work to do: Ukraine exported 4.3 million metric tons of 
grain in October through all routes, the ministry said.

   "We maintain cautious optimism, based on the fact that we have been fighting 
before and will continue to fight further," he said.


Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN