KYIV (Reuters) – Freight costs for ships using Ukraine’s alternative export corridor have risen following an attack on a cargo vessel in the Black Sea off Odesa, brokers said on Friday.

Ukrainian officials said on Wednesday a Russian missile damaged a Liberia-flagged civilian ship entering a Black Sea port in the Odesa region, killing one person and injuring four others. The vessel was supposed to transport iron ore to China.

Later, they said that the corridor was working despite the attack.

“As a result of a Russian missile hitting a cargo ship… sea freight rates have risen by $20/T and the number of shipowners willing to load in Ukrainian ports has decreased,” Spike Brokers company said on Telegram.

Spike Brokers regularly tracks and publishes export statistics in Ukraine.

After pulling out of a U.N.-brokered deal that guaranteed safe shipments of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea, Russia has been repeatedly attacking Ukrainian port infrastructure.

In August, Ukraine opened a “humanitarian corridor” for ships bound for African and Asian markets to try to circumvent a de facto Russian blockade in the Black Sea of Kyiv’s seaborne exports, imposed after Russian forces invaded Ukraine in 2022.

Ukrainian officials say 91 vessels have exported 3.3 million metric tons of agricultural and metal products since the corridor started operating in August.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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