SEOUL — With the departure of a grain ship carrying some 61,000 tonnes of corn for animal feed, POSCO International, the trading arm of the South Korean steel group, has solved a bottleneck in the flow of grain from Ukraine, one of the main granaries of the world. Grain produced in Ukraine has piled up in silos due to the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports which has sent world food prices skyrocketing.
Grain ships were able to leave Ukrainian ports under a plan brokered by the UN and Turkey in late July. POSCO International said its grain ship left the Pivdennyi seaport in the Ukrainian town of Yuzhne near Odessa on August 16. The ship is due to arrive at a port west of Seoul in late September.
The resumption of grain exports should help dampen global inflation, as the Ukrainian government plans to export more than three million tonnes of grain per month, said POSCO International, which operates a major grain terminal in Mykolaiv, also known under the name of Nikolaev, which is an important transport hub of Ukraine.
POSCO International said the corn shipment from Ukraine is a significant example of how private companies can contribute to food security and price stabilization in South Korea. “We will continue to increase overseas grain imports and contribute to national food security and price stability,” an unnamed POSCO International official said in a Sept. 5 statement.
In 2019, POSCO International acquired a 75% majority stake in a grain terminal managed by Orexim Group, a leading transshipment and export company in Ukraine. Through its grain terminal, the South Korean company had exported some 2.5 million tonnes of grain to South Korea, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East up to February, when its grain shipping came to an abrupt halt.
POSCO International has not reported any damage to its terminal. It is the first South Korean company to hold the rights to operate an overseas grain export terminal that would contribute to food security in South Korea, a major grain importer.
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