ISTANBUL: Two more grain carriers left the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk on Tuesday as part of a deal to lift Ukraine’s maritime export blockade, bringing the total to 12 under a safe passage agreement, Turkey’s defense ministry said. He said he had left the country.
Ocean Lion left for South Korea with 64,720 tons of corn, while Rahmi Yagci was carrying 5,300 tons of sunflower meal to Istanbul.
The United Nations and Turkey brokered a deal last month after warning that the suspension of grain shipments due to the conflict could lead to severe food shortages and trigger famine in parts of the world.
Four ships that left Ukraine on Sunday are docked near Istanbul and will be inspected on Tuesday, according to a statement from the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.
Together, the two countries accounted for nearly a third of global wheat exports before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what it called a “special operation” to demilitarize its neighbor.
The resumption of grain exports is overseen by the Joint Coordinating Center (JCC) in Istanbul, where officials from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations work.
Ukraine hopes to export 20 million tonnes of grain in silos and 40 million tonnes of new crops for export, the country’s economic adviser Oleh Ustenko said in July. The government hopes to make $10 billion from these amounts for its collapsing economy, but it could take 20-24 months to export them if ports aren’t functioning properly. There is, Ustenko said.