Extension of the Black Sea Grains Initiative Ship’s crew

By Megan Durisin and Aine Quinn

3/18/2023 (Bloomberg) – The deal, which allows Ukraine to export grain from key Black Sea ports, has been extended for another four months, despite calls from Russia for a shorter extension.

The Black Sea Grain Initiative has more than made possible 24 million tons of crop deliveries from Ukraine since the first mediation between the United Nations and Turkey in July. This has contributed to a collapse in food prices, which rose to record levels after Russia’s invasion initially disrupted trade flows.

Negotiations over its duration came to a head, with the deal set to expire after Saturday. It will be extended for another 120 days, Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said. This is despite suggestions by Russian officials earlier this week to extend it by just 60 days.

The original pact was valid for 120 days and was then extended in November until mid-March.

Though Ukraine’s harvests have been battered by the war, it is still an agricultural heavyweight and is one of the world’s leading suppliers of staple foods from sunflower oil to wheat and corn.

The significant quantities exported through the grain corridor are crucial to avoid worsening the global hunger crisis and reduce inflationary pressures. Nevertheless, consumer prices remain high in many countries.

Also Read: UN Trade Organization Calls for More and Bigger Ships to Prevent Worsening Food Crisis

As part of the current deal, teams from Ukraine, Russia, the UN and Turkey are inspecting each vessel to prevent unauthorized cargo or passengers from entering and exiting. But Ukrainian traders and authorities have said Russia is deliberately slowing the pace. This hurts Ukrainian farmers’ incomes and increases costs for traders.

The US has also blamed Russia for the slowdown, while Moscow said the backlog was artificially created by Ukrainian companies.

–With support from Selcan Hacaoglu.

© 2023 Bloomberg LP

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