ANKARA/KYIV—Two more ships carrying grain have left Ukraine’s Chornomorsk port, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said on Aug. 20, bringing the total number of vessels to leave Ukraine’s Black Sea ports under a United Nations-brokered grain export deal to 27.
The Zumrut Ana and MV Ocean S were loaded with 6,300 tons of sunflower oil and 25,000 tons of wheat, respectively, according to a statement from the joint coordination center that was set up to enable the ships’ safe passage.
Meanwhile, three Ukrainian seaports had begun loading food onto seven ships, which would deliver 66,500 tons of wheat, corn and sunflower oil to consumers, Ukraine’s Sea Ports Authority said.
Ukraine’s grain exports have slumped since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 because its Black Sea ports—a vital route for shipments—were closed, driving up global food prices and prompting fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East.
At the end of July, three Black Sea ports were unblocked under a deal between Moscow and Kyiv, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.
The authority said on Facebook the port of Chornomorsk had moored the bulk carriers Andan Toplak, Filyoz, and Maranta, while the port in Odesa had begun loading the Ganosaya and Kubrosli Y.
Bulk carrier Mohamad Y is waiting its turn, as well as the tanker Foyle, which is standing at the port of Pivdennyi.
The Ukrainian-origin food would be delivered to France, Sudan, Turkey and the Netherlands, the authority said.
Ten cargo ships were being loaded with grain in Ukrainian Black Sea ports and being prepared for shipment, Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Aug. 19.
He said 25 ships had already been dispatched from the three Ukrainian ports, with 630,000 tons of agricultural products on board.