With coronavirus hospitalizations spiking to the highest level since the pandemic appeared in Ukraine one year ago, Ukrzalysnitsia is temporarily ceasing passenger train service to the three most effected regions: Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi and Zhytomyr. Ticket sales for the Ivano-Frankivsk service stopped one week ago. Sales of tickets for the passenger service to Chernivtsi and Zhytomyr stop on Sunday.
Yesterday morning, the Health Minister Maksym Stepanov reported that 3,486 people were hospitalized with Coronavirus in the previous 24 hours. During the same period, 7,235 new cases were registered, and 185 deaths recorded. Earlier on Tuesday, the infection toll was 5,336. In a campaign to soften opposition to vaccinations, Stepanov, his deputy Viktor Liashko, and President Zelenskiy were publicly vaccinated this week. In public opinion polls, 40-50% of people interviewed say they will refuse to be vaccinated.
By November, all Ukrainians will have had the opportunity to be vaccinated, Stepanov said Monday on ICTV’s Freedom of Speech talk show. Starting next week, the daily vaccination rate is to hit 10,000. “By summer, it would be 5-6 million a month,” he told reporters yesterday. So far Ukraine has received from India 500,000 doses of the Swedish-British AstraZeneca vaccine. Ukraine has also ordered 17 million more doses from India. Stepanov said yesterday he fears the 1.9 million Sinovac doses
Ukrainians can sign up for vaccinations through the Diia website, or by calling the Health Ministry’s hotline: 0 800 60 20 19. Although international donors are paying for a large portion of the vaccines through the COVAX program, expatriates and any other foreign nationals will only be able to get vaccinated by paying for it. The Health Ministry predicts vaccines will become commercially available in Ukraine by this summer.
Cargo handled by Ukraine’s ports was down 24% yoy in January-February, to 20.6 million tons, reported the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority. Exports dropped by 23%, to 16.1 million tons. Imports dropped by 28%, to 3 million tons. The big winter drop was a 38% fall in grain exports, to 5.6 million tons.
High grain prices may partly cancel out falls in volume shipments. In the eight months since the grain marketing year started July 1, grain exports fell 22%, reported the Economy Ministry. Corn is down 30%, to 13.8 million tons. Wheat is down 17%, to 13.7 million tons. Barley is down 2%, to 4 million tons.
Kernel, the world’s largest sunflower oil producer, is halfway through a $169 million project to build cogeneration heat and power plants at its six oil seed crushing plants. The company already receives half of its energy from renewable sources.
Swedish retailer H&M plans to open its first store outside of Kyiv in Kharkiv in May. With the 2,100 square meter store in the new Nikolskiy shopping mall, H&M will have six stores in Ukraine after 18 months ago of its initial entry to the market. H&M Ukraine CEO Dominik Fantachino said: “We see a high interest in the H&M brand in the regions.”
Last Tuesday, Turkey reopened restaurants for inside dining, ending a long ban. Ukrainian tourists can travel to Turkey without a visa if they have a negative coronavirus test result taken no earlier than 72 hours before departure. About 9% of Turkey’s population have received a first coronavirus vaccine shot.
Yet Black Sea grain prices are at seven-year high: corn at $260-267 a ton, wheat at $281-288 a ton, and barley at $256-$263 a ton, reported Reuters. In the last marketing year, Ukraine exported 57 million tons of grain. This year, the government predicts exports could decline to 45.4 million tons – a 20% drop. Dragon Capital wrote: “The recent surge in global grain prices should at least partially offset weaker volume exports.”
MHP Agroholding, Ukraine’s largest chicken producer plans to open 2,000 Myasomarket stores across Ukraine in the next three years. Part of a shift from a ‘raw materials’ producer to a higher value ‘culinary company’. MHP will franchise the meat market stores, 2,000 shawarma DönerMarket outlets, a network of ‘Secrets of the Chef gastro-studios’ and an R&D department. Olena Kosyuk, Head of Research & Development and spouse of the Company Chairman Yuriy Kosyuk, said: “We will be able to develop new
Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo is considering building a bakery in Fastiv, Kyiv region to bake buns for McDonald’s. Three years ago, the multinational’s Ukraine unit, Bimbo QSR Ukraine, bought East Bolt Ukraine bakery in Dnipro to bake buns for the fast food chain. This morning the project is to be outline at UkraineInvest’s “Industrial Relocation” conference, in Fastiv’s Palace of Culture, a one hour drive south of Kyiv’s Ring Road.
With Kyiv traffic conjestion increasing, Ukravtodor agreed yesterday to complete the construction by the end of 2021 of the long-stalled New Darnytskyi Bridge. In what could be a $40 million project, Ukravtodor will complete the Left Bank exits from 1 km long road-rail bridge. At present, the 6-lane bridge funnels east-bound traffic directly to Darnitskiy Highway. Exit ramps to the Dnipro Embankment highway will allow exiting traffic to flow north and south. The bridge, which is owned by Ukrzaliznytisa, was
Kyivpastrans has opened a tender for two new cars for the Funicular, a purchase expected to cost €6.5 million. As part of a wider Urban Public Transport initiative for 11 Ukrainian cities, the European Investment Bank is funding much of the funicular budget to replace two cars bought in 1984. Connecting Podil’s Poshtova Square and the upper town’s Mykhailivska Square, the Funicular carries about 10,000 passengers a day. It opened in 1905, three years after the Odesa Funicular.
Casino gambling licenses have been issued to five hotels, Danilo Hetmantsev, Head of the Rada’s Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs policy, said after a briefing Tuesday by Ivan Rudy, Head of the Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries. Hetmantsev said that half of the nearly $5 million in total licenses have been paid. Separately, the Commission posts on its website that it issued a license Tuesday to allow Parimatch to resume betting activities in Ukraine. A bookmaker
Turkish Airlines’ lowcost unit, AnadoluJet, will start flights to Ukraine for the first time on March 30 2021 with a flight between Ankara and Kyiv Boryspil. Flying a Boeing 737-800, Anadolujet schedule includes four services a week. Pegasus Airlines, another Turkish lowcost airline, already operates on the Kyiv-Ankara route. Separately, Ukraine International Airlines commences a new route to Nevşehir, the regional capital in Central Anatolia on March 25. The direct flights from Kyiv Boryspil will improve tourist access to Cappadocia.