More wheat exported under UN deal as two ships leave Ukraine – economy

Reuters

Istanbul, Turkey ●
Fri, August 12, 2022

2022-08-12
14:28
4
c9040729547ca602062682df16b6af0f
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Economy
Russia, Ukraine, wheat, United Nations, export
Free

Two more ships left Ukraine’s Black Sea ports on Friday, including one loaded with the first Ukrainian wheat to be exported under a UN-brokered deal, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said.

A total of 14 ships have left Ukraine in the past two weeks, following the agreement with Russia to allow a resumption of grain exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports, after being blocked for five months because of the war.

The agreement, brokered by the United Nations with Turkey, was reached last month amid fears that the loss of grain supplies from Ukraine could lead to severe food shortages and even epidemics of famine in some parts. of the world.

The Belize-flagged Sormovsky left the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk on Friday, the Turkish Defense Ministry said, carrying 3,050 tonnes of wheat to Turkey’s northwestern province of Tekirdag.

It was the first shipment of wheat from Ukraine, which together with Russia accounted for nearly a third of global wheat exports before February 24, when Moscow launched what it describes as an “operation special” to demilitarize its neighbour.

Ukraine has around 20 million tonnes of grain remaining from last year’s harvest, while this year’s wheat harvest is also estimated at 20 million tonnes.

The Star Laura, flying the flag of the Marshall Islands, also departed from the port of Pivdennyi, bound for Iran with 60,000 tonnes of maize on board, the ministry said.

So far, most of the shipments covered by the deal have carried grain for animal feed or fuel.

There have yet to be shipments to countries most at risk from the global food crisis, although Ukraine announced on Thursday that a ship was due to enter a port that was to carry grain to Ethiopia.

As part of the UN agreement, all ships are inspected in Istanbul by the Joint Coordination Center, where Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN personnel work.

The Razoni, the first ship to leave Ukraine under the deal, docked in Turkey on Thursday and headed for Egypt on Friday, according to data from ship tracking Refinitiv, after its initial buyer in Lebanon refused delivery.

Shipping agent Toros, which handled the Razoni’s unloading in Turkey, said on Thursday the vessel would drop 1,500 tonnes of its 26,527 tonne cargo of maize in southern Turkey at Mersin and the rest would go to Egypt. .

The Rahmi Yagci, which left Ukraine for Istanbul on Tuesday, anchored at the northern end of Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait on Friday, while the Mustafa Necati, which left for Italy on Sunday, anchored at the south end.

Four other vessels were allowed to proceed to Ukraine after being inspected by a JCC team in Istanbul. The Turkish Defense Ministry said on Thursday that ships arriving in Ukraine were being loaded.

It was not immediately clear when they would leave. The UN said the number of incoming ships is expected to increase as grain sales are agreed.


Christi C. Elwood