Dry CargoEurope

First grain convoy departs Ukraine

A first convoy is headed out of Ukrainian waters this morning bringing urgently needed grain out of the country. Three ships have departed from two ports and are now heading together along an agreed safe corridor across the Black Sea for inspection at Istanbul and onto destinations around Europe. Moreover, a first ship has been granted to call at a Ukrainian port to load

Two weeks ago Ukraine and Russia reached a deal to establish safe shipping routes for Ukrainian grain exports from three ports. Earlier this week, the first vessel departed from Ukraine and as per the details of the Black Sea Grain Initiative was inspected in Istanbul (pictured, right) to ensure it was only carrying grain before being allowed to carry on to its destination in Lebanon. Today, marks the first ramp up in ship numbers moving last year’s harvest out of Ukraine. Another seven ships at the ports of Odesa and Chornomorsk are already loaded with grain and are ready for shipment.

Credit: OCHA_Levent Kulu

“While the cargo carrying capacity of the three vessels only accounts for a minor fraction of the twenty million tonnes of Ukrainian grains awaiting export, the development adds to the positive momentum. Hence, the flow of seaborne exports may accelerate in the near term,” an update today from chartering platform Shipfix stated.

The Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) was established under the Black Sea Grain Initiative in Istanbul on July 27 to oversee shipments. The JCC discussed yesterday the need for the commercial vessels stranded in the Ukrainian ports since February to depart to their pre-defined destinations.

“Their movement will free up valuable pier space for more inbound ships to come in and carry food to global markets in line with the Initiative,” the JCC stated in a release.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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