3 more ships with grain depart Ukraine’s ports under UN agreement

ISTANBUL (AP) – Three more ships carrying thousands of tons of corn left Ukrainian ports on Friday and traveled to mined waters to inspect their delayed cargo, a sign that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has since taken place. An international deal was arranged to export grain. was progressing slowly. But the countries that need it the most have major barriers to getting food,

Ships bound for Ireland, the United Kingdom and Turkey follow the first grain shipments. To pass through the Black Sea since the beginning of the war. That ship’s route to Lebanon earlier this week was the first under a successful deal Russia and Ukraine were brokered by Turkey and the United Nations.

The first ships to leave are among more than a dozen bulk carriers and cargo ships loaded months ago but have been stuck in ports since Russia’s invasion in late February. Experts say the resumption of shipments has raised hopes of easing the global food crisis, but the back-up cargo is for animal feed, not for people to eat.

The Black Sea region is called the breadbasket of the worldLeading global supplier of wheat, corn, barley and sunflower oil with Ukraine and Russia millions of poor people in africaThe Middle East and parts of Asia depend for survival,

However, initial shipments are not expected to have a significant impact on global prices of maize, wheat and soybeans. For starters, exports are off to a slow, cautious start under the deal Because of the danger of explosive mines floating off the Black Sea coast of Ukraine.

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.

The Ukrainian pilots, along with the three ships that departed on Friday, were on a safe passage as explosive mines were scattered in the Black Sea. The ships carried more than 58,000 tons of corn, but that’s still a fraction of the 20 million tons of grain that Ukraine says are stuck. into the country’s silos and ports and which must be shipped out to make room for this year’s harvest,

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 next 12 months because of the war, although other estimates put that figure at 70%.

Grain prices peaked after Russia’s invasion, and while some have returned to their pre-war levels, they are still higher than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 of the reasons for the high prices is the effect of drought on the crop in North America, China and other regions, as well as the high price of fertilizer necessary for farming.

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

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 overnight movement of three additional ships 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, 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 tonnes 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.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin after Turkey helped broker a food deal two weeks ago Friday in Sochi, Russia.

In a statement after four hours of talks, Putin and Erdogan “emphasized the need for full fulfillment of the package deal reached in Istanbul … including uninterrupted exports of Russian grain and fertilisers.”

In other developments, Ukraine’s presidential office said on Friday that at least eight civilians were killed and 16 others were injured in the latest Russian shelling.

The eastern Donetsk region has suffered the most intense Russian barrage in weeks. Donetsk government Pavlo Kyrilenko reiterated his call for all residents to be evacuated.

“Firings and bombings are happening round the clock, and those who refuse to evacuate risk being killed on their pillows,” Kirilenko said in remarks on television.

In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, there has been heavy shelling in three districts. Several apartment buildings and a street market were damaged, and three people were injured.

Russian shelling also targeted the city of Zaporizhzhya and several frontline cities in the region. For the second straight day, the Russians also opened fire on the city of Nikopol, which faces the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant across the Dnieper River. Dozens of homes were damaged.

Energoatom, which operates Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, said in the evening three shells landed on the territory of Europe’s largest Zaporizhzhia plant. No casualties or damage to the reactors were reported.

“This is an open and audacious crime, an act of terror,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly video address.

The Russians also attacked the southern city of Mykolaiv. The regional governor, Vitaly Kim, said Russian forces opened fire on the city after lunch, causing extensive damage, killing an unspecified number of people and injuring at least nine. He said the fire started about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of the direction of the Russian-occupied city of Kherson.

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Batravi reported from Dubai.

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