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UN chief says Black Sea grain deal extended

This handout picture taken and released by the Turkish Defense Ministry press office on Aug 3, 2022 shows an inspection delegation member inspecting the Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni carrying 26,000 tonnes of corn from Ukraine, off the coast of north-west Istanbul. (TURKISH DEFENSE MINISTRY / AFP)

The United Nations Secretary General said on Thursday he welcomed an agreement by all parties to extend the Black Sea grain deal to facilitate Ukraine's agricultural exports from its southern Black Sea ports.

The agreement, initially reached in July, created a protected sea transit corridor and was designed to alleviate global food shortages by allowing exports to resume from three ports in Ukraine, a major producer of grains and oilseeds

The agreement, initially reached in July, created a protected sea transit corridor and was designed to alleviate global food shortages by allowing exports to resume from three ports in Ukraine, a major producer of grains and oilseeds.

ALSO READ: Ukraine resumes foodstuff shipments via seaports

"I welcome the agreement by all parties to continue the Black Sea grain initiative to facilitate the safe navigation of export of grain, foodstuffs and fertilisers from Ukraine," UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a statement on Thursday.

Guterres said the UN was also "fully committed to removing the remaining obstacles to exporting food and fertilisers from the Russian Federation" – a part of the deal Moscow sees as critical.

Since July, some 11.1 million tonnes of agricultural products have been shipped, including 4.5 million tonnes of corn and 3.2 million tonnes of wheat.

ALSO READ: Ukraine suspends grain export for 'corridor blockage'

Wheat prices on the Chicago Board of Trade fell following the news that the agreement would be extended with the benchmark contract down 1.6 percent at $8.04 a bushel while corn prices fell 0.7 percent to $6.60-1/2 a bushel.

A drop in shipments from Ukraine following Russia's special military operation in February has played a role in this year's global food price crisis but there have also been other important drivers including the COVID-19 pandemic and continued climate shocks such as droughts in both Argentina and the United States.