Thursday

2nd Feb 2023

First Ukraine grain ship leaves Odessa port

  • Ukrainian officials said there were 17 ships stuck in the country's Black Sea ports (Photo: UNDP Ukraine)
Listen to article

The first ships loaded with grain left Ukraine's Odessa port on Monday (1 August) at 0530 GMT, according to Turkey's defence ministry.

The Sierra Leone-flagged ship, which is carrying 26,000 tonnes of corn, is heading to Lebanon, according to Ankara.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"Deployment of other ships are planned within the scope of the determined corridor and method" agreed on 22 July by Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN, it said.

The export agreement aims to facilitate the safe transport of grain and other agricultural products from Ukrainian ports. Under the deal, a joint coordination centre, which launched operations last week in Istanbul, would monitor commercial vessels exporting Ukraine's grain to ensure compliance.

Ukrainian officials said there were 17 ships stuck in Ukraine's Black Sea ports, containing almost 600,000 tonnes of cargo.

Russia and Ukraine export nearly a third of global wheat and barley supplies.

Over 12 percent of the world's wheat, 15 percent of corn and 50 percent of sunflower oil come from Ukraine, most of which are normally shipped by sea.

But the country's export-capacity has significantly decreased since the war began in late February due to the long blockade of the Black Sea.

Ukraine warned on Sunday (31 July) that the country's harvest itself could be cut in half this year due to the war.

"Ukrainian harvest this year is under the threat to be twice less," Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky said on Twitter.

He said that Ukraine's "main goal" was to prevent a global food crisis that is currently unfolding due to export disruptions in the Black Sea. "Still grains find a way to be delivered alternatively," he added.

Ukraine is expected to harvest up to 60 million tonnes of grain, according to UN estimates. 

Global food prices have been increasing since the pandemic.

But export disruptions in Ukraine and Russia have pushed prices even higher, raising fears over a looming hunger catastrophe in some African countries, Southern Asia, and the Middle East.

The World Bank warned this month that the conflict in Ukraine will push an additional 95 million people into extreme poverty, and 50 million into severe hunger.

Brazil pitches itself as answer to Ukraine war food shortages

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro is pitching his Latin American country as the answer to the world food crisis following the war in Ukraine. The traditional wheat importer has now exported three million tonnes of the grain so far in 2022.

African Union chief raises alarm over food crisis at EU summit

Disruption in exports of grain and fertilisers as a consequence of the Ukraine war is triggering a "worrying" situation for the continent hosting 282 million undernourished people, African Union president Macky Sall told EU leaders at the summit.

Investigation

The European shipping giants plying Putin's fossil-fuels trade

A vast network of European ships helps keep Putin's oil economy afloat. European vessels have shipped millions of tonnes of oil, gas and coal from Russian ports in the six months since the invasion, Investigate Europe and Reporters United reveal.

Opinion

Europe is giving more aid to Ukraine than you think

'Europeans need to pull their weight in Ukraine. They should pony up more funds.' Such has been the chorus since the start of the war. The problem is the argument isn't borne out by the facts, at least not anymore.

Opinion

Why the new ECHR Ukraine-Russia ruling matters

The ECHR ruled that Russia was in "effective control" of separatist regions of Eastern Ukraine from 11 May 2014. In doing so, the court has formally acknowledged the inter-state character of the conflict and Russia's culpability for human rights abuses.

Latest News

  1. MEPs launch anonymous drop-box for shady lobbying secrets
  2. Hawkish ECB rate-rise 'puts energy transition at risk'
  3. MEPs push for greater powers for workers' councils
  4. How Pavel won big as new Czech president — and why it matters
  5. French official to take on Islamophobia in EU
  6. EU green industry plan could spark 'dangerous subsidy race'
  7. Wolves should be defended, EU ministers urge
  8. EU Commission wants drones for Bulgaria on Turkey border

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Party of the European LeftJOB ALERT - Seeking a Communications Manager (FT) for our Brussels office!
  2. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  3. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains
  4. Forum EuropeConnecting the World from the Skies calls for global cooperation in NTN rollout
  5. EFBWWCouncil issues disappointing position ignoring the threats posed by asbestos
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersLarge Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us