Confusion surrounds Ukraine grain corridor

Senior Economist Charles Trotman examines Russia's suspension of its involvement in Ukraine's grain supply and the current state of play

Despite Russia’s suspension of its involvement in Ukraine's “grain corridor”, created to release grain supply through the Black Sea, reports suggest that the corridor remains open.

On Saturday 29 October, Russia declared that it would pull out of the internationally agreed route as a result of alleged Ukraine drone attacks on the Black Sea ports. The immediate reaction saw grain prices surge on international markets.

However, as of 1 November, vessels were still passing through the Black Sea for onward global transmission. The latest shipment amounted to 354,000 tonnes of food stuffs, the largest cargo volume since the safety corridor was opened in July. This included wheat, maize and sunflower oil.

Other freight corridors have been created since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, overland and through the Baltic ports. However, these only account for 10% of Ukraine food exports, highlighting the strategic trade importance of the Black Sea corridor.