Ukraine Works to Expand Exports as Three More Bulkers Arrive

bulker departing Ukraine
Aroyat outbound from Ukraine on September 22 (Oleksandr Kubrakov/X)

Published Sep 22, 2023 11:36 AM by The Maritime Executive

Ukraine with support from a growing number of shipping companies is expanding its efforts to open the Black Sea shipping corridor and restore exports. Larger ships made the transit into Ukraine with reports from the markets that traders are taking the first tentative steps at offering Ukrainian grain.

Vice Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov again took to social media to highlight the movement of four more bulkers. He reported that three new cargo ships were on their way to Ukraine for the loading of export products. He said they would be using the temporary corridor established by the Ukrainian Navy while the second vessel that traveled to Ukraine last weekend was now outbound on the corridor.

The Turkish-owned bulker Aroyat (18,315) dwt registered in Palau departed Chornomorsk this morning, September 22, loaded with 17,600 metric tons of wheat. The vessel had traveled into the port arriving last Saturday and is now following the corridor along the western shoreline of the Black Sea. It is heading to Egypt.

She is following the Resilient Africa which arrived off Turkey on Thursday, September 21. The ship is carrying 3,000 metric tons of grain from Ukraine. It is currently in the anchorage off Istanbul with reports that it will proceed to Asia.

Three more bulkers used the corridor and have now arrived at the Ukrainian seaports. The Liberian-registered Eneida (45,572 dwt) traveled to Chornomorsk arriving late today. The ship, which until recently was known as the Bosphorus Prince, is now reported to be managed from Panama. She had been holding in an anchorage off Turkey awaiting a contract.

Two of the vessels however went to the eastern port of Yuzhny marking the first ships to arrive there since July. The Azara (13,898 dwt) is registered in Palau and managed from Poland and arriving from Egypt. The largest of the ships is the Chinese-owned Ying Hao 01. The ship is 74,759 dwt arriving from China.

Kubrakov reports the ships will be loading both agricultural products and iron ore. Ukraine has only recently attempted to restart its ore shipments which were not covered by the year-long UN-brokered agreement which only covered foodstuffs. Kubrakov said the ships would be heading to China, Egypt, and Spain.

Traders are reportedly beginning to offer Ukrainian grains again, although at a steeply discounted price from the Ukrainian ports versus neighboring sources such as Romania. AgriCensus, a price reporting agency, highlights the lower prices as well as higher shipping costs for the products coming out of Ukraine. They note the limited number of ships and crews willing to make the trip. They however are reporting that additional contracts are expected and that additional ships have been fixed and are due to make the trip.

Russia continues not to comment on the Ukrainian exports and appears to have not made any attempts to approach the ships. The UK had warned that the Royal Air Force would be monitoring and seeking to deter any action against merchant ships in the Black Sea.

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