Ukraine calls for full restoration of Black Sea ports and navigation
The first convoy of three bulk carriers left Ukraine this morning, carrying around 57,000 metric tons of grain and corn, as planned by the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul. With the first ships also entering for Ukraine, government officials are now calling for the deal to be expanded to achieve their goal of restoring full functioning Black Sea ports.
bulk carriers Navi star, Rojenand Polarnet left Odessa and Chornomorsk. They were escorted into open waters and past mines set up near harbor entrances by Ukrainian pilots and harbor craft. At the end of the day, AIS signals show ships skirting the western Black Sea coast passing Romania en route to Istanbul. There they will each be inspected by the JCC before continuing to destinations in the UK, Ireland and Turkey.
Equally important to the success of the agreement, the bulk carrier Fulmer S. has been cleaned up as planned and is heading north into the Black Sea. It will become the first ship to arrive in Chornomorsk since the war began in February. In addition, although not included in yesterday’s CCC announcement, a second bulk carrier, the Osprey S. moves north across the Bosphorus late today, reflecting a destination of Ukraine.
Three bulk carriers are traveling south from Ukraine and one arrived on August 5 (image courtesy of Pole Star)
“We hope that the security guarantees of our UN partners and Turkey will continue to work and that food exports from our ports will become stable and predictable for all market players,” said Oleksandr Kubrakov, Minister of Ukrainian Affairs. Infrastructure.
UN officials said their goal was to have a steady flow of grain out of Ukraine through the humanitarian corridor. They have set a target of up to five million tonnes per month. Kubrakov set the target at three million tonnes or more saying that would put them on their target to move 20 million tonnes of last year’s crop and start exporting new crops.
Kubrakov said Ukraine’s goal is to have the capacity to handle more than 100 ships per month. Brokers in the original UN and Turkish deal agreed to only transport grain and foodstuffs from Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny. There has been speculation that they may seek to expand the deal to include one or more additional Black Sea ports.
The ships left Odessa and Chornomorsk on August 5 (Oleksandr Kubrakov)
“This agreement is about logistics, the movement of ships across the Black Sea,” Taras Kachka, Ukraine’s deputy economy minister, told the Financial Times. “What is the difference between grain and iron ore? »
Observers point out that in addition to bulk carriers, various other vessels also found themselves trapped in Ukrainian ports at the start of the war. Media outlet Black Sea News reported that at least 24 foreign vessels were in ports in February. They listed Ro-Ros, vehicle carriers, a tanker and a Turkish container ship among the ships they say are still in ports and unable to leave under the current deal.
Echoing the economy minister’s comments, Kubrakov said: “Although the ‘grain corridor’ is already operational for the day, our goal is to have fully-fledged ports in both directions.”
The JCC continues to call today’s ship moment its second proof of concept. Their goal is to continue to monitor progress and refine the process to facilitate the movement of bulk carriers back and forth across the Black Sea.