Russia Pulls Out Of Black Sea Initiative Risking Global Grain Price & Supply Shock
The Black Sea grain export deal, which has facilitated the safe export of grain from Ukraine for the past year and played a significant role in easing a global food crisis, is set to expire after Russia announced it would suspend its participation, as reported by Reuters and other outlets. The United Nations-brokered deal has enabled Ukraine to export approximately 32 million metric tons of corn, wheat, and other grains amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. The end of this deal could have considerable ramifications for global grain prices, which had soared due to Russia’s invasion in February 2022. A key Russian demand has been to reconnect the Russian Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT international payments system, which the EU had severed in June 2022 due to Russia’s invasion. The Black Sea Grain Initiative, run by the Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul, has seen over 32 million tonnes of food commodities exported from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports to 45 countries across three continents in the last year, significantly helping to reverse global food prices that had hit record highs shortly before the agreement’s inception. Ukraine is a key supplier of grain on international markets and is relied on heavily by humanitarian organizations and NGOs, which had previously warned of dire consequences of a grain shortage for their operations.
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