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UN spokesperson: Grain exports from Ukraine helping to reduce prices

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)

ISTANBUL – A drop in global wheat prices in August was partly due to grain exports resuming from Ukraine and ensuring food and fertilizer supplies was critical to maintain a downtrend, a UN spokesperson for the Black Sea Grain Initiative said on Wednesday.

In August, the Food and Agriculture Organization cereal price index decreased by 1.4 percent from the previous month. This drop…was due in part to the resumption of commercial exports from the Black Sea ports in Ukraine.

UN spokesperson for the Black Sea Grain Initiative

The spokesperson’s comments came after President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday he wanted to discuss amending the UN-brokered deal as Ukrainian exports were not going to the world’s poorest countries as originally intended.

“In August, the Food and Agriculture Organization cereal price index decreased by 1.4 percent from the previous month. This drop…was due in part to the resumption of commercial exports from the Black Sea ports in Ukraine,” the United Nations spokesperson said in comments sent to Reuters.

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UN data shows that Turkey, which is not part of the European Union, has been the most frequent single destination for shipments from Ukraine, with cargoes also going to China, India, Egypt, Yemen, Somalia and Djibouti.

“As of today…we have seen 100 ships leaving Ukrainian ports carrying over 2,334,310 metric tons of grains and other foodstuffs across three continents, including 30 percent to low and lower-middle income countries,” the spokesperson also said.

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The grain deal, signed in July, aimed to avert a global food crisis by guaranteeing the safe passage of ships in and out of Ukrainian ports, allowing them to export tens of millions of tonnes of grain.