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Three ships carrying more than 58,000 tonnes of maize departure from Ukrainian ports for Turkey on Friday as part of a UN-brokered deal to distribute grain from the beleaguered country that has been trapped by Russia’s military invasion.
Ukraine is one of the world’s main breadbaskets and stranded grain stocks there were exacerbating a sharp rise in food prices and raising fears of a global hunger crisis.
The ships’ departure comes after the first shipment of grain since the start of the war left Ukraine earlier this week. He crossed the Black Sea under the revolutionary wartime agreement and passed inspection on Wednesday in Istanbul, then headed to Lebanon.
The ships that left Ukraine on Friday – which the Turkish Defense Ministry says are heading for Turkey for inspection – are among a dozen bulk carriers and cargo ships loaded with grain and stuck in ports since the start. of the Russian invasion. end of February.
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While tens of thousands of tons of grain are coming out with these latest shipments, this is still only a fraction of the 20 million tons of grain that Ukraine says is trapped in silos and ports of the country, and which must be shipped in in order to make room for this year’s crop.
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Under the July 22 agreement negotiated by the United Nations and Turkey, which Russia and Ukraine signed, ships are allowed to leave the ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny with grain, corn and related foods.
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Cereal prices peaked in the first weeks after The invasion of Russia, but some have since returned to pre-war levels. Corn prices are about 70% above levels seen in late February 2020, before the pandemic, according to Jonathan Haines, principal analyst and data and analytics firm, Gro Intelligence. He said wheat prices are currently 63% higher than levels seen at the end of February this year when the invasion was launched.
The three ships that left Ukrainian ports are the Turkish-flagged Polarnet, carrying 12,000 tonnes of maize, which left the port of Chornomorsk bound for Karasu, Turkey. The Navi Star, flying the Panamanian flag, left the port of Odessa for Ireland with 33,000 tons of maize. The Maltese-flagged Rojen left Chornomorsk for the UK with more than 13,000 tonnes of maize, according to the United Nations.
Paul Best of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.