Turkish business hopes for restoration of Black Sea Grain Initiative

Turkish business hopes for restoration of Black Sea Grain Initiative

Harvesting increases the demand for grain exports from Ukraine as alternative land routes cannot sustain the volume of exports that the Black Sea Grain Initiative provided, so its restoration is important, especially to prevent food shortages in African countries.

That’s according to Ayhan Akbaba, a board member of the Turkish-Ukrainian Association of Businessmen (TUID), who spoke in an interview with the Turkish publication Dünya.

"Now it is a very serious offer (for grain - ed.), as harvesting continues. There are no sites to store it. The crop must be transported somehow, preventing spoilage. Therefore, there is a serious demand. Every vehicle, every rail car, and every bulker that can be found has to be loaded... In this sense, both the Pivdennyi and the main ports must somehow be re-included in the agreement on the agrarian corridor," the publication cited Akbaba as saying.

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The member of the TUID board expressed hope that thanks to the assistance of Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the issue of resuming the operation of the "grain corridor" will be on the agenda and the corridor will be reopened.

He also notes that alternative land routes cannot sustain the volume of transportation that sea routes provide.

"It is possible to export by sea on ships with a capacity of 20,000 to 50,000 tons at a time. It is possible to send only 22 tons by trucks or 60-70 tons by rail. This situation causes disruptions in the supply chain and affects costs," Akbaba explained.

According to his outlook, if the issue is not resolved before early next year, disruptions in grain supply, as well price hikes, are likely.

The businessman emphasized that the Black Sea Grain Initiative has to resume its work "especially to prevent food shortages in Africa."

As reported by Ukrinform, the grain agreement between the UN, Turkey, Ukraine, and the Russian Federation on "sea corridors" for the export of Ukrainian grain, was signed on July 22, 2022. It expired on July 17, 2023, and the Russian Federation refused to extend it. On September 4, the presidents of Turkey and Russia met in Sochi, including to discuss the resumption of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. No agreement was reached on the issue.

Photo: Oleksandr Kubrakov, Facebook

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