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Three ships carrying over 58,000 tons of corn left Ukrainian ports for Turkey on Friday as part of a UN-brokered deal to distribute grain from a post-war country trapped in a Russian military invasion.
Ukraine is one of the world’s main breadbaskets, and grain stockpiles stuck there have exacerbated soaring food prices and raised fears of a global hunger crisis.
The departure of the ships comes after Ukraine left its first shipment of grain since the start of the war earlier this week. He crossed the Black Sea breakthrough wartime deal and passed inspection on Wednesday in Istanbul before heading to Lebanon.
The ships that sailed Friday from Ukraine, which Turkey’s defense ministry says are on their way to Turkey for inspection, are among more than a dozen bulk carriers and cargo ships that have been loaded with grain and stuck in ports since the start of the Russian invasion. at the end of February.
While tens of thousands of tons of grain are currently being shipped out with these latest shipments, this is still a fraction of the 20 million tons of grain that Ukraine says is stuck in the country’s elevators and ports and must be shipped to make way for this year’s harvest.
In accordance with the July 22 agreement brokered by the UN and Turkey, signed by Russia and Ukraine, ships are allowed to leave the ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny with grain, corn and related food products.
Cereal prices peaked in the first weeks after Russian invasion, but some have since sunk to their pre-war levels. According to Jonathan Haynes, senior analyst and analytics firm Gro Intelligence, corn prices are about 70% above levels seen at the end of February 2020, before the pandemic. He said wheat prices are now 63% higher than they were at the end of February this year when the invasion began.
The three ships that left Ukrainian ports are a Turkish-flagged Polarnet carrying 12,000 tons of corn that left the port of Chornomorsk and headed for Karasu, Turkey. The vessel Navi Star under the flag of Panama left the port of Odessa for Ireland with 33,000 tons of corn. According to the UN, Rojen sailed under the Maltese flag from Chornomorsk to the UK, carrying more than 13,000 tons of corn.
Paul Best of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.