A CORUÑA, SPAIN — A cargo ship carrying 18,000 tonnes of Ukrainian corn arrived in Spain on June 13 after being shipped via the Baltic Sea to circumvent Russia’s blockade, imposed following its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, CNN reported, citing a statement from the Agafac regional feed manufacturers association of Spain.

The Finnish-flagged cargo ship, the Alppila, arrived at A Coruña, using a new export route from Ukraine for the first time. Agafac, which had placed the order, said the grain had been transported by truck to the northwestern Polish port of Swinoujscie on the shores of the Baltic Sea. It then called in at Brunsbuettel in northern Germany before heading for Spain. 

Ukraine has established two routes through Poland and Romania to export grain and avert a burgeoning global food crisis, Ukraine Deputy Foreign Minister Dmytro Senik said June 12. Ukraine is among the world's top grain exporters, and it said there are some 30 million tonnes of grain stored in Ukrainian-held territory that it is trying to export via road, river and rail.

Russian blockades have effectively stopped grain exports from Ukraine’s ports, and the nation needs help to end Russia’s domination of the Black Sea, a spokesman for the Odessa military administration told World Grain in a recent interview. Ukraine is a major grain exporter, last year supplying 11% of the world’s wheat exports, 12% of corn exports and 43% of sunflower oil exports. 

Russia denies hitting civilian and agricultural targets during the Ukrainian conflict and blames Western sanctions on Russia and sea mines set by Ukraine for the drop in food exports and rising global prices. Russia also is a major exporter of grain.