Port operators in Romania expect to remain busy shipping out Ukrainian grain despite the opening up of Odesa for exports on bulkers.

The Black Sea port of Constanta has been moving cargoes for months, exporting 1.46m tonnes of Ukrainian grain since February.

The cargoes arrive by road, rail or barge from Ukraine’s Danube river ports of Reni and Izmail.

Romanian port operator Comvex said it is due to load two ships later this week, one carrying 30,500 tonnes of Ukrainian and Romanian grain to Libya, and the second holding 45,000 tonnes of Ukrainian grain destined for Iran.

“It all depends on how the Istanbul agreement works out and on the quantities that Ukrainian ports can ship out,” Comvex manager Viorel Panait told Reuters.

“With all our hearts we wish they can restore their chain flows. But we are here, ready to help.”

Comvex has invested €4m ($4.09m) in a second barge-offloading platform that became operational at the end of July.

It has boosted the total processing capacity to 84,000 tonnes in and 70,000 tonnes out per day.

The company plans to invest a further €60m this year and next to boost operations, Panait said.

Transport from Ukraine has been slowed by rail infrastructure problems and low water levels on the Danube in a hot summer.

Grain en route

Port authorities have tallied 183,581 tonnes of grain now en route from the country to Constanta.

The port will also continue to export other Ukrainian goods not covered by the safe-passage agreement brokered by Turkey, including steel products, iron ore and pipes.

Ten terminal operators handling Ukrainian cargoes will pump in €340m ($346m) to boost processing speed.

They have asked for European Union funds and government loan guarantees.

The Romanian government is also working on bringing 35 port rail lines back into operation.