More than 15 million tonnes of grain have been carried by hundreds of ships via the Black Sea grain under the Istanbul grain export deal, Turkish Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu has said
“The total amount of transported cargo has exceeded 15 million 80,000 tonnes,” Karaismailoğlu said in a written statement on Dec. 25.
A total of 585 grain-loaded ships have left Ukrainian ports in Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Yuzhne cities until Dec. 25, the minister added.
“Some 13 different types of grain including barley, wheat, soybean, sunflower meal, wheat bran, peas, sunflower seeds, processed mixed food, sugar beet, sunflow er oil, canola seed, corn, and soybean oil were transported by ships,” he said.
Karaismailoglu said that 200 out of the 585 are Turkish-flagged, owned or operated vessels, while 171 of the total ships bring their cargo to Turkish ports.
“Fifteen percent of the total cargo arrived in Türkiye, while 12 percent of the cargo was transported to Africa, 29 percent to Asia and 44 percent to Europe,” he said, adding that the most cargo was transported to Spain with nearly 2.9 million tonnes, followed by Türkiye with more than 2.2 million tonnes and China with over 2.1 million tons.
Russia and Ukraine signed separate agreements on July 22 for a Black Sea corridor that cleared the way for the export of grain out of three Ukrainian ports, as well as for shipments of Russian grain and fertilizer.
A Joint Coordination Centre was established in Istanbul which was followed by the departure of the first ship loaded with grain from Odessa Port on Aug. 1.
The landmark deal was extended for 120 days in November after intense negotiations with Russia, which temporarily pulled out of the agreement.
Ukraine estimates its grain harvest fell by around 40 percent year on year due to the Russian invasion, a representative for the country’s industry said last week.
“We expect a grain harvest of 65-66 million tonnes” by the end of the year, the head of the Ukrainian Grain Association Sergiy Ivashchenko said, following a record harvest of 106 million tonnes last year.
“The main reason is the war,” which immediately led to fuel shortages and hindered sowing, Ivashchenko said.
“The occupation of several regions, fighting in the fields, and the destruction of infrastructure” still crippled production, Ivashchenko said.
“We usually sowed grains over about 25 million hectares. This year we only harvested over 18-19 million hectares,” he said.