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Ukraine reaches record monthly export level since full-scale invasion

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Ukraine exported 12 million metric tons of goods in January 2024, reaching a monthly record level since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, the Economy Ministry announced on Feb. 5.

According to the statement, in the pre-war January of 2022, Ukraine exported just 2 million metric tons more.

“We are very close to returning to pre-war levels of physical exports,” First Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko said.

About 8.7 million metric tons of goods were exported in January by sea, according to the minister.

Also in January, the first ship exported goods from Ukraine under the war risk insurance, Svyrydenko said.

“The normalization of the insurance market in trade is a crucial element in the recovery of exports of value-added products,” she said.

The insurance was provided under the Ukrainian government’s Unity program, which involves professional services firm Marsh McLennan and global insurance companies led by ASCOT. The program aims to reduce the insurance cost of exported goods, contributing to the increase in Ukrainian exports.

The total coverage under the program is $50 million. The program can help agricultural producers save up an estimated Hr 100-140 ($3-4) per metric ton.

Ukraine anticipates that similar insurance instruments will be introduced for other types of exports in the future.

In 2021, Ukraine achieved its highest export figures in the last 10 years, totaling products worth $68 billion.

However, during the first half of 2022, following the onset of full-scale war with Russia and the Black Sea blockade, the country’s exports decreased by 25%, amounting to $22.7 billion, as reported by Ukraine’s State Statistics Service.

In July 2022, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and the UN reached an agreement to unlock grain exports, known as the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Within a year, by July 2023, Russia withdrew from the agreement. During this period, Ukraine exported nearly 33 million tons of agricultural products to 45 countries worldwide, according to UN data.

In August 2023, Ukraine announced a temporary Black Sea corridor. The route doesn’t lead directly through international waters to the Bosphorus Strait but hugs the coastlines of Ukraine and NATO members Romania and Bulgaria, allowing ships to bypass the effective blockade imposed by Russia.

Nearly 15 million metric tons of goods, including 10 million metric tons of agricultural products, have been exported through the corridor as of Jan. 8, according to Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov.

Read also: Ukrainian companies are moving west. It’s changing the country’s economic map

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