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Bulk carrier inspection

Ellie M, a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship carrying Ukrainian corn, waits for the inspection at the anchorage area of the Bosphorus southern entrance in Istanbul, Turkey October 10, 2022. REUTERS/Mehmet Emin Caliskan

Ukraine Grain Backlog Eases With Faster Ship Inspections

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October 18, 2022

By Áine Quinn (Bloomberg) A logjam of vessels shipping Ukrainian crops eased at the weekend as inspections sped up, but the backlog remains high with just over a month of the grain-export deal left.

Outbound ships need to be inspected in Istanbul under the deal, and at least 12 were checked each day from Friday through Sunday. That’s up from seven to nine a day earlier in the week. The number of inspection teams edged up to five on Friday, said Amir Abdulla, United Nations coordinator for the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Shippers are rushing to export as much as possible through the Black Sea corridor before the current deal expires, with negotiations on extending it continuing. The backlog of inbound and outbound vessels awaiting checks stood at 131 as of Tuesday, down from 156 on Friday, a spokesperson for the Joint Coordination Centre said. 

Ukraine and Russia are both seeking changes to the deal as part of talks to extend it beyond the current deadline of Nov. 19. While Russian attacks on its neighbor have escalated, the UN on Monday said negotiations in Moscow to renew the accord were constructive.

Some 7.7 million tons of grain and other food products have been exported under the deal as of Oct. 16, according to the Joint Coordination Centre for the Black Sea grain initiative. 

By Áine Quinn , With assistance from Megan Durisin. © 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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