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Istanbul deal for Ukraine grain shipments stabilise global food prices, US says

September 16, 2022 at 6:36 pm

Maltese flagged ship “Rojen” carrying 13,000 tons of corn from Ukraine to United Kingdom as it is passes through the Canakkale (Dardanelles) Strait in Canakkale, Turkiye on August 08, 2022. [Burak Akay – Anadolu Agency]

The United States has acknowledged that the Istanbul and Black Sea grain deal brokered by Turkiye and the UN has succeeded in decreasing the price of food worldwide, confirming previous expectations that enabling grain shipments from Ukraine would do so.

In a press statement yesterday, the US State Department said that the agreement struck between Russia and Ukraine – and brokered by Turkiye and the UN – in July “has reduced global food prices and brought more than 2.7 million metric tons of grain to global markets” since the beginning of August.

The statement warned, however, that “If agricultural infrastructure within Ukraine continues to be damaged in the war, this progress on global food security will be endangered.”

In a later statement the same day, following the third meeting of the US-Turkiye Strategic Mechanism Dialogue, the State Department also stressed that “the United States and Turkiye stand together in support of global public health, as well as food and energy security.”

READ: Turkiye making ‘sincere efforts’ for grain exports to Africa: President

At the outbreak of the war in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion of the country, there were widespread concerns that the conflict would prevent essential commodities such as grains, fuel and fertilisers from the two countries and that global food prices would skyrocket, as a result.

The effect of that shortage in the commodities was, indeed, seen in the rise of food prices over the past few months. With the resumption of grain shipments from Black Sea ports under the Istanbul deal, however, the news that global prices are now stabilising is a welcome one.

Despite that development, there remain dire warnings of increasing food insecurity around the world, particularly in developing nations, with the World Food Programme (WFP) this week warning that up to 345 million people will be subjected to the crisis.

READ: The Great Starvation is coming, and the world must prepare for it