The Black Sea grain deal that allows Ukrainian grain exports to continue has been extended by two months, a day before the agreement with Russia was set to expire.
Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan announced Russia had agreed to the extension early Wednesday, sending grain futures markets lower as the second consecutive 60-day extension allayed concerns about reduced grain shipments from Ukraine.
“Outstanding issues remain, but representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations will keep discussing them,” noted UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, on Wednesday.
Russian officials had indicated they would only renew the Black Sea Initiative deal if sanctions against its agricultural exports, including fertilizer, were reduced.
“Looking ahead, we hope that exports of food and fertilizers, including ammonia, from the Russian Federation and Ukraine will be able to reach global supply chains safely and predictably,” said Guterres.
The flow of ships through the Black Sea corridor — and average daily ship inspections — had reportedly slowed as it appeared the pact originally brokered by Turkey and the UN in July 2022 may not be renewed.
According to the UN, more than 30 million tonnes of food have been exported from Ukraine under the Black Sea Initiative.