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Ukraine grain corridor has had an ‘immediate positive effect’ on global food prices says UN

1 September 2022
Grain shipments like these could be the key to tackling the global food price crisis. The lack of grain and other foodstuffs exported from Ukraine due to the conflict caused a dramatic decrease in supply worldwide. Credit: sandsun and Shutterstock

The Ukraine grain corridor, a series of ports that can export both Ukrainian and Russian grain peacefully after a multilateral agreement between the two countries, the UN and Turkey, has shown encouraging success. 

The Joint Coordination Centre (JCC), the organisation administering grain shipments, told International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) on 25 August that 39 vessels  have moved from the three Ukrainian ports covered under the Initiative, carrying 845,496 metric tons of grain and foodstuffs to global markets. The JCC said this has had “an immediate positive impact on the price of foodstuffs” such as grain and cooking oils worldwide. 

Ismini Palla, UN spokesperson at the JCC, told ICS, the objective is to export between 2 to 5 million tons of grain per month from the three Ukrainian ports covered under the initiative. “We have now reached the operational phase whereby this target can be achievable,” she said. “We are optimistic but we have to remain realistic, too.” 

However, vessels are continuing to operate under significant pressure and constraints due to the surrounding conflict. Palla said that grain production and transport has been affected by the conflict, as well as storage facilities. However, with food prices reaching dangerous heights in many areas of the world, JCC said that the focus is on keeping the shipping lane safe and facilitating smooth operations for all vessels.

The JCC has stressed that they are focussed on maintaining security in the shipping lane. Security and insurance concerns have been flagged by the maritime industry. ICS has repeatedly stated that “the safety of seafarers and port workers must remain the priority” throughout this initiative.