Slowdown in Ukraine grain exports a 'serious situation', says UN | Inquirer Business

Slowdown in Ukraine grain exports a ‘serious situation’, says UN

/ 09:42 AM June 02, 2023

UNITED NATIONS  -The UN secretary-general’s office expressed concern Thursday over a slowdown in Ukrainian grain exports across the Black Sea, citing the “specter of food inflation” as Russia demands better treatment of its own agricultural products.

A crucial agreement allowing Ukrainian grain to reach the global market despite Moscow’s invasion — signed in July 2022 by Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations — was renewed again in May but for only two months, until July 17.

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Moscow is demanding guarantees on another agreement concerning its own exports, in particular of fertilizer components.

“We are concerned about the continuous slowdown of the implementation of the Black Sea Initiative observed particularly in the months of April and May,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

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“In May, 33 vessels departed Ukrainian ports, half of the number compared to April. Only three of those departed from the port of Yuzhny/Pivdennyi, one of the three Ukrainian ports covered in the Initiative,” he said.

Ukraine says Russia prevents Black Sea grain deal port operating

He linked the slowdown at that port to Russian demands that its own exports of fertilizer components be freed up despite strict sanctions against Moscow for it invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

Dujarric said Russia “has informed of its decision to limit registrations to the port of Yuzhny/Pivdennyi as long as ammonia is not exported.”

Moscow is calling in particular for a resumption of operations on the Togliatti-Odessa pipeline for deliveries of ammonia, an essential chemical component of mineral fertilizer.

Dujarric said the slowdown had been caused in part by a reduction of inspections of ships carrying grain, saying on average only three ships were being inspected each day.

“This is a serious situation. We need to move forward,” he said. “Global hunger hotspots are increasing and the specter of food inflation and market volatility lurks in all countries.”

Russia says Black Sea grain deal may be nearly over

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TAGS: Black Sea, Exports, grains, Ukraine, UN
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