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Grain handling in Danube ports quadruples in price, this is blackmail – adviser to Interior Minister

KYIV. May 3 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The cost of transshipment of grain cargo in the ports of the Danube River, which was not in high demand before the Russian military invasion and was about $5-6/tonne, has risen to $15/tonne due to the blockade of key Ukrainian seaports and will continue to rise in price.

"The price of cargo transshipment quadrupled over the month. The ports of Izmail and Reni were not in high demand until February 2022, the transshipment rate was at the level of $5-6/tonne, the cost of the fleet on the route to Constanta (Romania) was $9-10/tonne. Since the beginning of the war, the price for transshipment services has risen to $12/tonne and has been increasing every five days. The cost of the fleet has increased three to four times on average," Vadym Denysenko, an adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs, wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.

According to him, payment for transshipment through the Danube ports after the start of the war was transferred from the U.S. dollar to the euro and in April amounted to EUR 15/tonne compared to $5-6/tonne in February. As of May, the cost of transshipment is already estimated at EUR 20/tonne.

"Today I will not write about the main businessmen who profit from this, but in a few days there will definitely be names. The state gets practically nothing from this. I understand about earnings. But a fourfold increase is no longer a market, but blackmail," Denysenko said.

"Is there any leverage in the state to even out this story? Of course, there is. Has anything been done in two months, since it became clear that the Black Sea ports were blocked? Nothing has been done. The market is transformed into monopoly rip-off," he stated.