by John Konrad (gCaptain) The first ship loaded with Ukrainian grain has departed the port of Odesa today as part of a deal to ease the global food crisis caused by the Russian invasion. The bulker is currently underway in an UN-established safety corridor enroute to Tripoli, Libya.
Corn and wheat prices were down in the futures market after the ship’s departure.
The bulker MV Razoni is sailing south between Ukraine and Crimea. This is a journey it would not have made a few weeks ago, when the waters were laden with mines.
“The departure of the cargo ship Razoni flying under the flag of Sierra Leone and loaded with maize will leave the port of Odessa bound for Lebanon at 08:30 am (0530 GMT),” the Turkish defense ministry said in a statement. It is expected to reach the Bosphorus around noon tomorrow.
The ship was built in 1996. It is 186 meters (610 feet) long and 25 meters (82 feet) wide. It can carry 30,000 tonnes of grain. The ship is owned by the Liberia based Razoni Shipping Company and has been inspected by the Polish Register of Shipping.
“Our side is fully ready,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said last week when he visited the Black Sea to check on grain being loaded onto a Turkish ship at Chornomorsk port.
The ship was given the green light on July 22nd when Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) signed a deal to relieve a global food crisis. Turkey formally opened a special joint coordination centre to oversee the exports in Istanbul last Wednesday, which is being staffed by civilian and military officials from the two warring parties and delegates from Turkey and the IMO.
Ukraine is a world leader in grain exports, supplying more than 45 million tonnes annually to the global market, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). We don’t know yet whether Ukraine ports will open to critical fertilizer imports required for next season’s crop.
Also Read: Ship Insurers Sail Into the Unknown as Ukraine Grain Deal Reached
Sign up for our newsletter