3 more ships loaded with grain depart Ukraine ports under U.N. deal

Three more ships carrying thousands of tons of corn have left Ukrainian ports, officials said on Friday in the latest sign that talks have taken place. grain export deal Trapped after Russian invasion Ukraine It is slowly coming into effect about six months ago. But the countries that need it the most have major barriers to getting food.

The ships bound for Ireland, the United Kingdom and Turkey followed the first grain shipments to pass through the Black Sea since the start of the war. The ship’s en route to Lebanon earlier this week was the first under successful deals signed by Turkey and the United Nations with Russia and Ukraine.

The Black Sea region has been called the world’s breadbasket, with Ukraine and Russia being major global suppliers of wheat, corn, barley and sunflower oil, which millions of poor people in Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia rely on to survive. Huh.

Experts say the shipment has raised hopes of easing the global food crisis, but the grain Ukraine is trying to export is used for animal feed and not for people to eat. The first ships to leave are among more than a dozen bulk carriers and cargo ships that were loaded with grain but stuck in ports since Russia’s invasion in late February. And the cargo is not expected to have a significant impact on the global price of corn, wheat and soybeans for a number of reasons.

For starters, exports under the deal are off to a slow, cautious start due to the threat of explosive mines floating off Ukraine’s Black Sea coast.

And while Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat to developing countries, there are other countries, such as the United States and Canada, with higher production levels that could affect global wheat prices. And they face the threat of drought.

“Ukraine accounts for about 10% of international wheat trade, but not even 5% in terms of production,” said David Labord, an expert in agriculture and trade at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington.

Three ships sailed on Friday with more than 58,000 tons of corn, but that’s still a fraction of the 20 million tons of grain that Ukraine says is stuck in the country’s silos and ports to make room for this year’s harvest. for it should be sent out.

Laborde said that about 6 million tons of the trapped grain is wheat, but half of that is for human consumption.

One expects Ukraine to produce 30% to 40% less grain in the coming 12 months because of the war, although other estimates put that figure at 70%.

Grain prices peaked after the Russian invasion, and some have since fallen to their pre-war levels, still higher than they were before. COVID-19 Epidemic. Corn prices are up 70% compared to the end of February 2020, said Jonathan Haynes, senior analyst at data and analytics firm Grow Intelligence. He said the wheat prices are almost 60% higher as compared to February 2020.

One reason for the high prices is the effect of drought on crops in North America, China and other regions, as well as the high cost of fertilizers needed for farming.

“When fertilizer prices are high, farmers may use less fertilizer. And when they use less fertilizer, they will produce less. And if they produce less, the supply will remain insufficient.”

Three ships that left Ukraine on Friday expressed hope that exports would reach developing countries, where many face a growing threat of food shortages and hunger.

“The movement of three additional ships overnight is a very positive sign and will continue to instill confidence that we are moving in the right direction,” Haynes said. “If grain flows from Ukraine continue to expand, it will help to overcome global supply constraints.”

The Turkish-flagged Polarnet, carrying 12,000 tons of corn, departed from the port of Chornomorsk destined for Karasu, Turkey. The Panama-flagged Navi Star left the port of Odessa for Ireland with 33,000 tons of corn. The United Nations said that the Maltese-flagged Rosen left Kornomorsk for the United Kingdom carrying more than 13,000 tons of corn.

It said the Joint Coordination Center – overseeing the deal signed in Istanbul last month by officials from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations – authorized three ships and inspected one ship for Ukraine. The Fulmar S, with the flag of Barbados, was inspected in Istanbul and is on its way to the port of Chornomorsk.

The Czechs try to ensure that outgoing cargo ships carry only grain, fertilizer or food and no other items and that incoming ships do not carry weapons. Ukrainian pilot ships with ships for safe passage due to scattered explosive mines in the Black Sea.

Turkey, which has ties with both Russia and Ukraine, helped broker a food deal two weeks ago President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday in Sochi, Russia. The meeting follows a face-to-face meeting between the two leaders in Iran three weeks ago.

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