KYIV, UKRAINE — As questions remain about whether Russia will agree to extend the grain shipping corridor agreement with Ukraine, data shows that Ukraine grain shipments continue to trend higher, according to a Reuters report.

Citing Ukraine Agricultural Ministry data, Reuters reported that Ukrainian exports in the first 17 days of October were only 2.4% lower than in the same period in 2021. Ukraine has exported 2.12 million tonnes of grain, mostly corn and wheat so far this month, compared to 2.17 million during the same period last year, according to the report.

Ukraine still lags far behind in grain exports year-on-year, having shipped 10.8 million tonnes in 2022-23, compared to 16.5 million tonnes through Oct. 17 of 2021-22, according to Reuters.

Ukraine was unable to export any grain from its Black Sea ports for five months after Russia invaded the country on Feb. 24. But in late July, Russia reached an agreement, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, to withdraw its naval blockade from the Ukrainian ports. Since then, grain shipments from those ports have steadily increased, sending much-needed grain to countries that traditionally have been dependent on imports from Ukraine.

With the war between Russia and Ukraine still ongoing, Russia recently indicated it may not be willing to extend the deal, which is set to expire in late November, due to concerns that efforts have not been made to facilitate Russia’s fertilizer and grain exports.