The Black Sea Grain Initiative: dry figures

Our editorial team has been tracking the state of the Black Sea grain initiative for the entire period of its existence since July 2022, and the statistics we analyzed was mostly based on data from the International Trade Center, the World Trade Organization and the UN.

We have always believed that the purpose of the grain deal is, first of all, to provide the poorest economics with a valuable product and supported the participation of European countries in promoting the issue of safe export of Ukrainian grain.

However, based on the analysis of the estimation of volumes of Ukrainian grain supplies, which came into our editorial office’s possession, we have to admit: the Black Sea Grain Initiative was never conceived in the interests of the poorest countries.

Historical note: the lack of consideration by the U.S. and the EU of the consequences of Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 led to an assessment at the United Nations Security Council meeting on May 21, 2022, that the world’s wheat reserves would only last 10 weeks. Arguments in favor of starving African countries that Ukraine could have helped had an impact on Russia, and under certain conditions they agreed to open humanitarian corridors for the export of Ukrainian grain from Ukraine’s three Black Sea ports: Yuzhne, Chornomorsk, and Odesa.

We know from a reliable source that despite the assurances and guarantees of the European Union, only 12% of Ukrainian grain went to the African continent, with 49% going to “starving” Europe. One gets the feeling that the Europeans understood that this was an “all in” move when they ignored the Russian demands to remove the obstacles created by the U.S. and the EU in the areas of finance, insurance and logistics for the export of Russian products and fertilizers, but continued to fill their storages. Now when the Western world has secured its food supply for the long term, Ukrainian exports have become less important to them: humanitarian appeals have disappeared from the main Western media, the White House has said it is not prepared to announce any measures to support ship traffic to Ukrainian ports, and Poland has announced that it will ban imports of Ukrainian grain after September 15 because it hurts its own agriculture.

As of July 17, 2023, all Western opinions are that nothing needs to be done, because “Russia would not dare to attack civilian grain ships and shipping can continue”, “the reputational and economic costs of a prolonged grain supply cutoff would hit Russia, so no prolonged or permanent termination of the Initiative is expected.” Let’s assume. How then to explain the Russians’ purposeful destruction of Ukraine’s Black Sea port infrastructure? Yes, the Russians will not attack grain ships, but there will be no ships because there will be no ports.

Europe has once again left Ukraine alone with a problem caused by Europe.

At the end of our note, we ask you to pay attention to the data on Ukrainian grain supplies from our friends in Turkey.