Over 230 grain ships have sailed from Ukraine since UN deal 

Ukraine said nine ships with 345,300 tonnes of agricultural products had left Black Sea ports on Tuesday
Over 230 grain ships have sailed from Ukraine since UN deal 

A  cargo ship loads Ukrainian grain in a port in Ukraine's Odesa region. Picture: Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

A total of 231 ships with 5.3m tonnes of agricultural products on board have left Ukraine so far under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey to unblock Ukrainian sea ports, the Ukrainian infrastructure ministry said on Tuesday. 

The ministry said nine ships with 345,300 tonnes of agricultural products had left Ukrainian Black Sea ports on Tuesday, including capsize ship Marian Excellence, loaded with 115,000 tonnes of food.

Ukraine's grain exports slumped after Russia invaded the country on February 24 and blockaded its Black Sea ports, driving up global food prices and prompting fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East.

Ukraine, a major global grain producer and exporter, shipped up to 6m tonnes of grain per month before the war.

Three Black Sea ports were reopened under a deal signed on July 22 by Moscow and Kyiv and the ministry has said these ports are able to load and send abroad 100-150 cargo ships per month. 

The deal to open up the Black Sea ports was brokered in late July and was facilitated by the UN and Turkey. 

However, after delays, the first grain shipments only started in early August. 

Ukraine and Russia are major suppliers of grains to world markets and the war has helped push up food prices across the world. Prices have since fallen back. There had been fears that some African countries could face famine. 

• Reuters

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