The export of Ukrainian iron ore to the MENA region stopped after the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the volume of exports was 1.7 million tons in 2021.

The CFTS portal reported this, citing the GMK Center publication.

Russian warships are essentially blocking the export of iron ore products from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. Ukrainian enterprises exported iron ore with a high iron content to the MENA region. Algeria is the country worst affected by these supply interruptions.

The war has also caused other disruptions to MENA supply chains. Middle Eastern and North African countries are not receiving Ukrainian cast iron and rolled steel. Exports of semi-finished steel products and flat products from Ukraine to the region have also decreased. For example, Qatar lost 129,000 tons of semi-finished steel products from Ukraine in the first nine months of 2022.

Before the war, maritime transport accounted for 60% of the iron ore and 80 of the iron and steel exported from Ukraine.

Exporters in the Ukrainian mining and metallurgical industry have been forced to redirect cargo flows by rail to seaports in the European Union, but there is no free capacity there to process all the Ukrainian cargo. In addition, railway crossings at Ukraine’s borders with European countries are unable to cope with the increased volume of Ukrainian cargo, which is why railway wagons spend a long time waiting in lines at the borders. As a result, the average distance to the port of departure for Ukrainian exporters has increased fivefold and the cost of delivery to the port of destination has increased by an average of 3-4 times.

The blockade of Ukrainian seaports is inflicting monthly losses of USD 420 million on exporters of Ukrainian ferrous metal products.