First grain vessel clears inspection, en route for final destination

3 Aug 2022 | Sharon Levrez

The first vessel carrying grain from Ukraine under a deal struck with Turkey and the UN July 22 has passed inspection in Turkey and is on its way to its final destination of Tripoli in Lebanon, the Ukrainian ministry of infrastructure said Wednesday.

The Razoni, which is carrying 26,000 mt of corn under the Sierra Leone flag, left Ukraine’s port of Odesa on Monday.

According to tracking service Marine Traffic it has now passed through the Bosphorus and is travelling through the sea of Marmara.

Its official estimated time of arrival in Tripoli is 1000 on the morning of August 7.

"This is the first ship to travel along the "grain corridor" agreed with the UN and Turkey. Thanks to the Armed Forces and port services, the Razoni safely made its way to the Bosphorus, where it was inspected by representatives of the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC),” Oleksandr Kubrakov, Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine said in a statement.

“Using the Razoni as an example, all the necessary control and coordination measures between Ukraine and the signatory partners - the UN and Turkey - are being finalized and worked out.”

The ministry said it continued to receive applications for new ships to enter Ukrainian ports, and some 17 vessels were currently loaded with grain and awaiting permission to leave.

Another ship, the Osprey S, which is understood to have been nominated by the World Food Programme to carry grain bought in a tender last week, is also currently in the sea of Marmara and headed towards the port of Chornomorsk, where it is due to arrive in the early hours of Friday morning.

Earlier this week Ukraine said it hoped to export about three cargoes a day from the ports of Pivdennyi, Odesa and Chornomorsk during an initial test phase. So far there only the Razoni has left, however.

Some 15 million mt of grain is thought to be stuck in Ukraine, after Russia's invasion in February left export routes via deep-sea ports in the Black Sea blocked and only limited options to export via river ports, road or rail.

Monthly exports of grains and oilseeds have been running at about 2 million mt for the last few months, compared with roughly 6 million mt before the war.