Hungary aids rail exports of Ukrainian grain

A coordinated effort by Hungary to aid exports, by rail, of Ukrainian grain are starting to pay off, state secretary for transport David Vitezy said.

Mr Vitezy said the government had called another „grain summit” of representatives of rail cargo and transshipment companies, the Grain Association, state-owned railway company MAV, the Agriculture Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Thursday to support the delivery by train of Ukrainian grain „by all possible means”.

„We’ve met with transshipment, railway and farm sector representatives in the past months and tried to remove obstacles. The first results of these efforts are apparent,” he added. He said that rail cargo crop volume across the border between Ukraine and Hungary is now more than eight times what it was in January, while the number of grain hoppers backed up on the Ukrainian side of the border has been reduced from „over 4,500 to under 3,000”.

Technology and Industry Minister Laszlo Palkovics will soon submit a HUF 12.4bn draft programme to the government on upgrading the rail network in the area around Zahony, on the border, he added. „The first results of our plans will be tangible already this year,” he said. He also noted steps to expedite phytosanitary checks at the border, bring more locomotive engineers there and get rail forwarding companies to cooperate on putting together longer trains. Mr Vitezy said Hungary would also buy grain from Ukraine this year because of the drought.