An overnight Russian air strike on the southern Ukrainian region of Odesa caused "significant damage" to port infrastructure and destroyed some grain storage facilities, Ukrainian officials told Reuters on September 25.
Ukrainian economy minister Yulia Svyrydenko said on X, formerly Twitter, that a "massive attack" resulted in the destruction of grain storage facilities and significant damage to the seaport. No injuries were reported.
Ukraine's September grain exports down 51%
In a related Reuters report, Ukrainian grain exports over Sept. 1-24 totaled 1.57 million metric tons, down sharply from the 3.21 million tons in the corresponding period last year, agriculture ministry data showed on September 25.
Traders and agricultural unions have said blocking of Black Sea ports and recent Russian attacks on Ukrainian ports on the Danube River are the main reasons for the reduced exports.
The ministry data showed that Ukraine has exported a total of 6.2 million tons of grain so far in the 2023/24 July-June season, versus 7.5 million tons in the same period of the previous season.
Since Russia quit a U.N.-brokered deal in July, Ukraine's ability to export grain through the Black Sea has been hampered. Ukraine has been shipping grain along the Danube River, as well as through a "humanitarian corridor" via road and train.
Ukraine's ability to ship grain has been hit by Russia's decision in mid-July to quit a U.N.-brokered deal that had allowed safe shipments via the Black Sea, with Moscow saying not enough was being done to improve its own exports.
Kyiv is increasingly shipping grain along the Danube River, by road and by train, and has established a "humanitarian corridor" hugging the Black Sea coast to ship grain for African and Asian markets. Last week, the first big Ukrainian ship carrying grain left port of Chornomorsk destined for Egypt.