Ukraine has started grain exports using Croatian infrastructure
What could be considered the most challenging solution in terms of implementation has now become another Ukrainian lifeline. The Ukrainian Minister of Economy, Yulia Svyridenko, has shared that grain volumes have already commenced exports via Croatia. In this solution, Ukraine utilises Croatian port infrastructure in the Danube River and the Adriatic Sea. At the same time, rail does not partake in this logistic solution.
“Ukrainian grain has already been exported through Croatian ports. Thank you for this opportunity. Although this trade route is niche, it is already popular. We are ready to develop it, expanding the possibilities of the transport corridor. We believe this logistics route will play an important role in bilateral trade between our countries even after the war,” commented Svyridenko.
The plan for this route is to connect Ukrainian and Croatian Danube ports. Grain will follow an upstream course in the Danube River from the ports of Reni and Izmail (Ukraine), possibly to the port of Vukovar (Croatia). From there, grain cargo will need to cross Croatia from East to West and reach the Adriatic ports of Rijeka, Zadar or Split.
Not many more details have been shared for this new grain export route, which was initially deemed inefficient and expensive and presented multiple capacity and transit limitations regarding the transport modes that would link the Danube and Adriatic ports. Both road and rail infrastructure in Croatia are very problematic, but the country’s essentially very old, slow and unmaintained railway network was the one causing most concerns.
In any case, Ukraine attempts to utilise every opportunity appearing on the table, which is why it has decided to try the Croatian route, probably for very specific and not too large grain export volumes. At the same time, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda stated that Baltic and Polish ports could contribute by transhipping 10 million tons of Ukrainian grain annually; however, no concrete action has been taken to implement this solution so far.