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Ukraine and Croatia agree for grain shipments from ports on the Danube and Adriatic Sea

Tuesday, August 1st 2023 - 18:51 UTC
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The Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba made the announcement after talks with his Croatian counterpart on Monday The Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba made the announcement after talks with his Croatian counterpart on Monday

Ukraine and Croatia have reached an agreement for Croatian ports on the Danube and Adriatic Sea to be used for the export of Ukrainian grains, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said after talks with his Croatian counterpart on Monday (July 31).

On July 17, Russia announced that it would suspend its participation in the Black Sea grain export agreement.

The announcement concerned the global community, as Ukraine is one of the world’s leading grain exporters. Ukraine’s isolation from trade threatens not only the price of products, but also the millions of lives that depend on these inputs.

The deal, negotiated by the UN (United Nations) and Turkey in July 2022, aimed to alleviate a global food crisis by allowing Ukrainian grain blocked by the Russia-Ukraine conflict to be safely exported.

The treaty had previously been renewed, but Russia had been claiming for months that the conditions for its extension had not been met. “Unfortunately, the part of these Black Sea agreements towards Russia has not been implemented so far, so their effect has ended,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Also on the 17th, following the announcement by the Russian government, wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade jumped 2.7% to US$ 6.80 a bushel, and corn futures rose 0.94%, to US$ 5.11 a bushel, as merchants feared an imminent crisis in the supply of basic foodstuffs.

But the impact goes beyond prices. Ukraine is among the world’s top three exporters of barley, corn and rapeseed oil, according to Gro Intelligence, an agricultural data company. According to United Nations data, the country is also, by far, the largest exporter of sunflower oil, accounting for 46% of world exports.

Last year, economic shocks that included the impacts of the war in Ukraine and the pandemic were the main reasons for “acute food insecurity” in 27 countries, affecting nearly 84 million people, according to a report by the Food Security Information Network, a bank of data funded by the European Union and the United States.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) said in November that a collapse of the deal “would hit hardest those on the brink of starvation”.

The warning comes after Moscow suspended its membership in the pact for several days following drone attacks on Sevastopol, a port city in Russian-controlled Crimea.

On July 21, at a meeting of the UN Security Council, the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, stated that Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea grain agreement “potentially threatens the situation of hunger in the world and the life of millions of people”.

Categories: Agriculture, International.

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