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Two more grain ships leave Ukraine, Turkey’s defense ministry says

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ANKARA/KYIV — Two more ships carrying grain have left Ukraine’s Chornomorsk port, Turkey’s Defence Ministry said on Saturday, bringing the total number of vessels to leave Ukraine’s Black Sea ports under a U.N.-brokered grain export deal to 27.

The Zumrut Ana and MV Ocean S, which are authorized to depart on Aug. 20, were loaded with 6,300 tonnes of sunflower oil and 25,000 tonnes of wheat respectively, the joint coordination center set up to enable safe passage said in a statement.

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Ukraine’s Sea Ports Authority said on Saturday three Ukrainian seaports had begun loading food onto seven ships, which would deliver 66,500 tonnes of wheat, corn and sunflower oil to consumers.

Ukraine’s grain exports have slumped since the start of the war because its Black Sea ports – a vital route for shipments – were closed, driving up global food prices and prompting fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East.

At the end of July, three Black Sea ports were unblocked under a deal between Moscow and Kyiv, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.

The Authority said on Facebook the port of Chornomorsk had moored the bulk carriers Andan Toplak, Filyoz and Maranta, while Odesa port had begun loading the Ganosaya and Kubrosli Y.

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Bulk carrier Mohamad Y is waiting its turn, as well as the tanker Foyle, which is standing at the port of Pivdennyi.

The Authority said Ukrainian-origin food would be delivered to France, Sudan, Turkey and the Netherlands.

Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Friday a further ten cargo ships were being loaded with grain in Ukrainian Black Sea ports and being prepared for shipment.

He said 25 ships had already been dispatched from the three Ukrainian ports, with 630,000 tonnes of agricultural products on board. (Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun and Can Sezer in Turkey, Pavel Polityuk in Ukraine Editing by Mark Potter)

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