First two vessels enter Chornomorsk since grain corridor collapse

18 Sep 2023 | Masha Belikova

The first two commercial vessels have entered a Ukrainian Black Sea port since the collapse of the Black Sea grain corridor in July after the Ukrainian government confirmed the vessels were preparing to enter the port of Chornomorsk in an official statement published over the weekend.

Ukraine's Ministry of Infrastructure and Ministry of Agriculture published a note on Saturday saying that at least two bulk vessels had agreed to enter Chornomorsk using the so-called humanitarian corridor, which confirms earlier reports in the market last week.

The vessel Aroyat with a summer deadweight of 18,315 mt and Resilient Africa with a summer deadweight of 3,275 mt have since arrived and are anchored in Chornomorsk loading around 20,000 mt of wheat bound for Africa and Asia, according to an update from the infrastructure ministry.

No details about insurance arrangements for these shipments were available at the time of writing. 

Active rumors of the fixtures began to circulate a week ago, with some suggesting that in addition to the Aroyat and the Resilient Africa, at least two more vessels are in the process of being booked for loading in Ukrainian Black Sea ports.

These are the first vessels to enter Ukraine's Black Sea ports since the grain deal brokered by the UN and Turkey ended on July 17 after Russia withdrew its participation.

On August 10, Ukrainian naval forces declared their own humanitarian corridor open with the route set to be as close as possible to the Romanian and Bulgarian borders.

Five ships that were stuck in Ukraine after Russia invaded in February 2022 have since left via this route, but these are the first to enter.

Russian forces have continued to attack Ukraine's Danube ports and have been sending drones and missiles to Odesa and nearby territories over the weekend, according to local authorities.