Two more grain ships sail from Ukraine, Turkey says
ISTANBUL -Two more ships, carrying corn and soybeans, departed from Ukrainian Black Sea ports on Monday, Turkey’s defense ministry said, taking the total to 10 since the first ship sailed last week after a deal with Russia to unblock Ukrainian grain exports.
The United Nations and Turkey brokered the agreement last month after warnings that the halt in grain shipments caused by the conflict could lead to severe food shortages and even outbreaks of famine in parts of the world.
The Sacura, which departed from Yuzni, is carrying 11,000 tons of soybeans to Italy, Turkey’s defense ministry said on Monday, while the Arizona, which left Chornomorsk, is carrying 48,458 tons of corn to Iskenderun in southern Turkey.
The four ships that left Ukraine on Sunday are expected to anchor near Istanbul on Monday evening, it said, adding that they will be inspected on Tuesday.
Before Russia invaded Ukraine for what it calls its “special military operation”, the two countries together accounted for nearly a third of global wheat exports.
The resumption of grain exports is being overseen by a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in Istanbul where Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and U.N. personnel are working.
The Razoni, which was the first ship to depart, was scheduled to arrive in Lebanon on Sunday but is currently at anchor off Turkey’s southern coast, according to Refinitiv ship tracker data.
Ukraine’s Infrastructure Ministry said on Sunday that the Fulmar S, the first foreign-flagged bulk ship to reach the Black Sea port of Chornomorsk since the conflict, was ready for loading.
A second ship traveling to Ukraine, the Osprey S, was inspected in Istanbul on Sunday and was nearing Ukraine on Monday morning, Refinitiv data also showed.
Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said Ukraine would soon also start exporting grain from its Black Sea port of Pivdennyi, an expansion that would let it send out a total of at least 3 million tons of goods a month.
In peacetime, Ukraine exported up to 6 million tons of grain a month from its ports on the Black Sea and Sea of Azov coast. Ali Kucukgocmen
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