Intended for Ukrainian grain to the EU? EU data contradicts Putin’s words

Le président russe Vladimir Poutine participe au Forum économique oriental à Vladivostok, en Russie, le 7 septembre 2022.

100 ships left Ukrainian ports with 2,334,310 tons of grain and other foodstuffs.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that most grain leaving Ukrainian ports was headed for the European Union rather than developing countries after sanctions fueled a global food crisis.

“Almost all grain exported from Ukraine is not for poor developing countries, but for EU countries,” Putin said at the Eastern Economic Forum in the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok.

Grain exports through Black Sea ports resumed after Kyiv and Moscow signed an agreement in July with the United Nations and Turkey acting as guarantors.

“We have done everything to ensure that Ukrainian grains are exported,” assured Vladimir Putin.

The Russian president claimed that European countries had “once again betrayed developing countries”.

“With this approach, the scale of the world’s food problems will only increase,” Putin warned, adding that it would lead to an “unprecedented humanitarian disaster.”

“Maybe we should think about limiting the export of grains and trade routes? I will certainly consult with the Turkish president, Mr. Erdogan, on this matter,” he warned.

Where did the grains really go?

Ukraine, one of the world’s biggest grain exporters, was forced to halt almost all deliveries after Russia invaded its neighbor in late February. UN officials have repeatedly said that the blockade of Ukrainian ports is leading to a worsening food crisis, particularly in developing countries in Africa and the Middle East.

However, Putin said in a speech on Wednesday that only 3% of Ukraine’s grain exports were given to the UN World Food Program (WFP).

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i24NEWS contacted the Istanbul-based Black Sea Grains Initiative Joint Coordination Center to monitor exports and learned that Putin’s claim was not entirely accurate.

“As of September 7, 2022, 100 ships have left Ukrainian ports carrying 2,334,310 metric tons of grain and other foodstuffs. They go to various destinations in three continents: Turkey (20%), Spain (15%), Egypt (10%), China (7%), Italy and the Republic of Korea (6%), Iran and the Netherlands (5%), Romania and India ( 4%), Germany and Sudan (3%), Kenya, Yemen Israel (2%), Ireland, France, Djibouti, Somalia (1%), Lebanon, Greece and Bulgaria (less than 1%),” said the center spokesperson.

This means that 30% of the cargo goes to “low or lower middle income countries”.

Looking at the geographical breakdown by continent, Turkey (20%), China (7%), Republic of Korea (6%), Iran (5%), India (4%), Israel (4%), and 2%) accounted for 47% of the total. , Yemen (2%), and Lebanon (less than 1%).

Egypt (10%), Sudan (3%), Kenya (2%), Somalia and Djibouti (1%) also deployed 17% of the total cargo.

Meanwhile, Europe received 36% of shipments, of which 15% went to Spain, 7% to Italy, 5% to the Netherlands, 4% to Romania, 3% to Germany, 1% from Ireland, 1% from France, and less than 1% from Bulgaria and Greece.

“The first ship chartered by the World Food Program anchored in Djibouti (1%) on August 30 and anchored in Turkey on August 30, where wheat is milled into flour before being loaded onto another ship that will go to Yemen to support the humanitarian response of the Food Program, the third chartered by WFP. The ship is now anchored in Istanbul and plans to go to Ukraine to collect a new shipment of wheat,” according to data from the center.

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So far, 57% of the commodity consists of corn, 22% wheat, 11% sunflower products, 7% barley and rapeseed, 1% soybeans and 4% other agricultural products.

Around 20 million tons of grain have been stuck in Ukraine for export since February, along with food products such as corn and sunflower oil. Before the Russian invasion, the main importers of Ukrainian wheat were Egypt, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Turkey, the Philippines, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya.

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