ISTANBUL, TURKEY — Grain continues to move out of Ukraine via its seaports on the Black Sea with two more ships leaving Chornomorsk on Aug. 9 under a safe passage agreement, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the defense ministry of Turkey.
One ship is carrying 64,720 tonnes of corn bound for South Korea, the ministry said, while another was heading to Turkey with 5,300 tonnes of sunflower meal. Four ships that left Ukraine on Aug. 7 are anchored near Istanbul and the defense ministry noted they would be inspected Aug. 9. A total of 12 ships have now left Ukraine under the deal.
The United Nations and Turkey brokered the agreement signed July 22 with Ukraine and Russia after warnings that the halt in grain shipments caused by Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion and subsequent blockade could lead to severe food shortages and even outbreaks of famine in parts of the world. Under the agreement, Ukraine is exporting grain and other agricultural goods while Russia will export grain and fertilizers. A Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) was opened July 27 in Istanbul to monitor the movement of commercial vessels to ensure compliance with the initiative.
Before the war, Russia and Ukraine combined for about 30% of the world’s wheat exports. Ukraine is also a major exporter of corn and sunflower oil. Ukraine has been trying to export about 22 million tonnes of grain stuck in storage during the conflict to free up space as it begins this year’s harvest.
Meanwhile, the first ship to leave Ukraine under the agreement is looking for another port to unload its grain cargo after the initial Lebanese buyer refused delivery citing a more than five-month delay in the terms of delivery, the Embassy of Ukraine in Lebanon said Aug. 8.
The shipper is now looking for another consignee to offload its cargo of 26,527 tonnes of corn in Lebanon, Libya or another country, the embassy noted.