Grain ships leave Ukraine, but cargo is rejected by buyers

Moscow and Kiev signed an agreement on July 22 to unblock the Black Sea and resume exports; 12 vessels have already left the Ukrainian port

Press service of the Ministry of Seaports Authority of Ukraine/via REUTERSukrainian grains
A Liberian Arizona-flagged bulk carrier is seen at the seaport of Pivdennyi after restarting grain exports, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, near the city of Yuzhne, Ukraine.

Since Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement for the export of Ukrainian grains that were trapped in the Black Sea because of the conflict between the two countries, which has been going on since February 24, 12 vessels were heading to their destinations. Only this Tuesday, the 9th, two more transport ships departed from the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk, said the Ministry of Defense of Turkey. However, a problem has already become visible. According to the ANSA news agency, 26,000 tonnes of the product were rejected by the buyer due to the delay of more than five months in which the goods arrived. The ship that should have disembarked on Sunday, 7, remains close to the Turkish sea waiting for a new buyer, informed the embassy. According to data from Kiev, some 20 million tons of grain and cereals then in Ukrainian ports waiting to be transported. Ships leaving the port today were bound for South Korea, carrying 64,720 tonnes of maize, and Istanbul, carrying 5,300 tonnes of sunflower meal, the ministry said.

fall in food prices

The agreement, brokered by United Nations (UN) and Turkey, includes that vessels must pass inspection to prevent weapons smuggling. Therefore, the four ships that left Ukraine on Sunday are anchored near Istanbul and will be inspected on Tuesday, the Defense Ministry statement said. Oversight is being carried out by a Joint Coordination Center (JCC), where Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and UN officials are working. Russia and Ukraine signed two agreements on July 22, monitored by Turkey and the UN, which allowed the resumption of exports of Ukrainian cereals and Russian agricultural products blocked in ports since the beginning of the war. The resumption of activities is welcomed, as there were fears that the conflict and the stoppage of exports could lead to severe food shortages and even outbreaks of famine in parts of the world. Ukraine expects to export 20 million tonnes of grain in silos and 40 million tonnes of its new crop, said the country’s economic adviser Oleh Ustenko. The government hopes to raise $10 billion for its battered economy from these volumes, but Ustenko said it could take 20 to 24 months to export them if the ports are not functioning properly.

*With information from AFP, Reuters and ANSA

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