New buyer sought for first grain shipment that left Ukraine under deal

The Sierra Leone-flagged vessel Razoni left the Odessa port on August 1, carrying 26,000 tonnes of maize



Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

By AFP

Published: Thu 11 Aug 2022, 7:23 AM

A new buyer is being sought for the first grain shipment to leave Ukraine under a hard-won deal with Russia, after the original Lebanese buyer cancelled its order, the Ukrainian embassy said.

The Sierra Leone-flagged vessel Razoni left the Ukrainian port of Odessa on August 1, carrying 26,000 tonnes of maize, and had been expected to dock in the Lebanese port of Tripoli at the weekend.

Now, the keenly-anticipated shipment is looking for a buyer, after the shipping agent agreed to a request to cancel the original order, in the light of the long delay in delivery.

A five-month delay after Russia's attack on Ukraine "prompted the buyer and the shipping agent to reach [an] agreement on the cancellation of the order," the Ukraine embassy said in a statement, late on Tuesday.

The agent is now studying alternative bids for the maize, before deciding on its destination, the embassy added.

The Razoni is currently anchored off the Turkish port of Mersin, according to the Marine Traffic website.

Another ship docked in Turkey on Monday, with a cargo of 12,000 tonnes of Ukrainian maize, becoming the first to reach its destination under the deal with Russia, that was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.

The agreement lifted a Russian blockade of Ukraine's ports, and established safe corridors through the naval mines laid by Kyiv to ward off any amphibious assault by Moscow on its coast.

On Monday, Ukraine said it was "optimistic" that the millions of tonnes of wheat and other grain, that had been trapped in its silos and ports could now be exported, in a major boost for world food supplies.

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