Due to the closure of stations mainly for the shipment of grain crops, Ukrzaliznytsia causes damage to farmers and saves money for the purchase of wagons for other industries. Ivan Miroshnichenko, People’s Deputy, member of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Agrarian Policy and Land Relations, wrote about this in his blog on the “NV” website.
He confirms his words with the financial plan of Ukrzaliznytsia for the current year, which states that the company intends to purchase 7,400 wagons, of which 7,000 are open wagons, 100 are the fitting platforms for the transport of freight containers and only 137 are grain carriers. It turns out that the share of newly acquired grain carriers from the total number of wagons purchased will be only 1.8%.
According to Miroshnichenko, at the wholesale price of grain trucks at $ 30-35 thousand, Ukrzaliznytsia could allocate at least 350 million UAH from the saved money for the purchase of more than 400 carriers necessary for farmers, and thereby improve the situation with the fleet of grain wagons, which in Ukraine they do not produce since 1993.
Based on official data, Miroshnichenko writes that for today in Ukraine there are 19,4 thousand grain carriers. 11.6 thousand (or 60%) belong to Ukrzaliznytsia, another 7,800 (or 40%) are private. At the same time, about 27% or 3 thousand wagons belonging to the company have the age of 25-30 years, 5.7 thousand carriers (47%) are 30-35 years old, another 2.9 thousand (26%) are already working for 36-42 years.
The forecasts for the future of the agrarian sector in Ukraine do not allow to hope for the solution in the near future. The People’s Deputy states that by 2022 the demand for agricultural producers for rail transportation can reach 70 million tons/year, and in the future 10 years it will be 95 million tons/year.
Moreover, if in the near future there are no changes in the work of Ukrzaliznytsia, the share of rail transportation of grain will fall to less than 50% from the current 75% in five years.
Therefore, by 2022 the agricultural sector will not receive export earnings of grain in the amount of $ 11.8 billion to $ 17.2 billion. Thus, Ukrainian agricultural producers will have to reduce production to the level that will ensure their former profitability.