Grain & Maritime Days in Odessa, the largest Ukrainian conference for experts in transport, shipping and international trade, was held on May, 24-26, in Odessa, organized by APK-Inform Agency and Interlegal, supported by the NI Ukrainian branch. The 17th conference gathered over 500 delegates from 40 countries.

On the first day, guests enjoyed exclusive reports by APK-Inform Agency, Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI), trade companies MACQUARIE GROUP, Alfagra, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Inspection Company Dr. Amin Controllers Pvt. Ltd, UN Food and Agricultural Organization and many other speakers. Panel discussion “Grain trade – 2018: key trends” awoke particular interest, where experts of the Ukrainian Grain Association, ceREALIA, COFCO Agri Resources Ukraine, RisOil Ukraine and Marcoolo Commodities SA discussed trends in the Ukrainian and global export of agricultural commodities.

Following a short lunch break, participants joined two parallel sessions.

Session “International grain sea carriages” moderated by Interlegal partner Arthur Nitsevych,FNI gathered Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, WISTA President, Peter Sand, BIMCO Chief Shipping Analyst, Soren Larsen, BIMCO Deputy Secretary General and Daniella Horton, LMAA Honorary Secretary. High level of speakers facilitated a theme for discussion: global future of sea carriages and role of Ukraine in such process.

In parallel, the Round Table was devoted to pricing mechanisms and price risk management in the Black Sea region.

Panel discussion about maritime business development in Ukraine and Gala-dinner in the restaurant “Maristella Marine Residence” completed the first business day.
Keeping up with the last-year trend, this year the conference organizers provided several round tables for delegates of the event. Interlegal lawyers shared the last trends in ship arrest and release in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions. Marine Insurance Services and Inter Hannover representatives touched in details the issues of cargo insurance and liability of terminals. Delegates got concerned also in the Round Tables “Non-resident companies in the global trade: challenges-2018” and “How to purchase a new yacht for 10.990 and pay less in taxes” presented by Interlegal corporate and yachting practicing lawyers.

On the second day, key issues for discussion were the following:

• Development trends of the Ukrainian grain market influenced by the global trends;
• Blockchain platform for trade, financing, and hedging for small- and medium-scale enterprises in the grain business
• Agricultural production in Ukraine and weather factor
• Development prospects of the market of alternate crops and by-products;
• Ins and outs of the effective elevator construction: stages from the pre-design to operation

In the framework of the session, moderated by Interlegal partner Nikolay Melnykov,MNI- Chairman of the NI Ukrainian branch shipping experts discussed the current Panamax market in the Black Sea region, recommendations upon vessel chartering and sea & river carriage logistics. Interlegal senior lawyer Andrey Perepelitsa provided recommendations upon amicable settlement of commercial disputes, based on Interlegal lawyers’ experience.

On May, 25, all the volunteers could participate in Interlegal optional round tables devoted to London arbitrations and container shipping risks in modern trading. Ukrainian Grain Association delegates held a special workshop “HACCP system launch at Ukrainian elevators”.

Having summarized Grain & Maritime Days in Odessa 2018, first of all we should note high level of the Ukrainian and foreign speakers – representatives of 10 key industries from transport, shipping and international trade.

Both number of delegates and status of speakers grow every year; so next year Grain & Maritime Days in Odessa may become a key platform for networking not only in Black Sea Region but also in the whole Eastern Europe.

On May, 25, over 500 experts in transport, shipping and international trade visited the annual Odessa Shipping Dinner.

Shipping Dinner is a traditional event held for transport experts from many cities, such as Bergen (Norway), Riga (Latvia), Hamburg (Germany), Rotterdam (the Netherlands), London (the UK), Genoa (Italy), Glasgow (Scotland), Athens (Greece), Istanbul (Turkey), etc.

Professor Vladimir Torskiy FNI Honorary Secretary NI Ukranian branch
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