Black Sea exports in April were down 35% on a halt in Ukrainian ports shipments, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
In a recent analysis, S&P noted that Russia's invasion of its neighbour, Ukraine, is blocking key agribulk exports and in turn is also driving food prices globally.
"According to Commodities at Sea, S&P Global Market Intelligence, total seaborne agribulk shipments from the Black Sea region during April 2022 declined 35% to 4.0 million tons year on year," S&P said.
It added that shipments of wheat, corn, and barley stood at 3.0 million tons (up 44% year-on-year), 891,000 tons (down 76% year-on-year), and 65,000 tons (down 82% from 356,000 tons year-on-year), respectively.
In terms of export countries, seaborne agribulk shipments from Russia, Romania, and Bulgaria stood at 2.0 million tons (up 54% year-on-year), 1.4 million tons (down 0.4%), and 540,000 tons (up 73%), respectively, in April.
S&P noted that Black Sea agribulk shipments declined to almost all import regions and territories in April, including North Africa, the Middle East, Northwestern Europe, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, mainland China, Southeast Asia, and West Africa.
Further decline expected
Meanwhile, shipments increased solely to the Mediterranean, by 15% to 1.2 million tons.
S&P said seaborne agribulk shipments from the Black Sea region are forecast to decline 37% year-on-year to 11.2 million tons in the second quarter of 2022, and 20% year-on-year to 83.9 million tons in full 2022.
Pranay Shukla, associate director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, warned of further disruptions to agribulk trade in the Black Sea as the war rages on.
For several months now, Ukraine's major ports, including Odessa is closed by a Russian blockade.
"There could also be further significant downside risks to the Black Sea agribulk forecast for this year depending on how long the war extends and if Ukraine can manage its exports from Romania and Poland, while upside risks could arise from Russian wheat exports on expected strong domestic wheat harvest," Shukla said.