Ukraine’s wheat and corn exports recover under Black Sea Grain Initiative
Ukraine’s corn and wheat exports have almost returned to seasonal-average levels since summer 2022, when Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and the United Nations signed the Black Sea Grain Initiative to reopen Black Sea routes. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 led to elevated security risks and infrastructure damage, causing Ukraine’s seaports to be almost completely cut off from March through July. The restrictions limited exports and led to an accumulation of corn and wheat stocks. As global exportable supplies diminished, international wheat export prices spiked. Signed in July 2022, the Black Sea agreement enabled the safe passage of Ukraine grain exports through three ports. That and ample corn and wheat stocks allowed Ukraine to export a larger combined volume of the two crops than the five-year average in September and October. In December, Ukraine was able to export more than 3.0 million metric tons of corn, the largest since the beginning of the war, and 1.6 million metric tons of wheat. The Black Sea Grain Initiative has increased the opportunities for Ukrainian grain to leave the country and has relieved some price pressures internationally, but uncertainty remains as the agreement is set to expire in mid-March 2023 and may not be extended. This chart was drawn from “Feature Article: Changes in Ukraine Wheat and Corn Export Patterns Since the Start of the Ukraine-Russia War,” which appeared in the USDA, Economic Research Service’s Wheat Outlook: January 2023.
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