First Crop Ship to Leave Ukraine Is Stuck Without a Buyer

The first crop cargo to depart Ukraine’s newly opened grain ports is now floating in the Mediterranean Sea, searching for a new destination after losing its buyer.

Ukraine’s embassy in Beirut on Monday postedA picture of Razoni was posted. It stated that the final buyer, in Lebanon had rejected the cargo due to the five month delay in delivery. It was the first agriculture ship to leave the country’s major Black Sea ports since Russia’s invasion, loaded with about 26,500 tons of corn after a deal was recently brokered to restart exports.

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Its difficult journey to find customers highlights the difficulties that Ukrainian grain shipments face as they try to get back to normal. The Razoni’s shipper is looking for a new buyer in Lebanon or elsewhere, according to the embassy. Its destination changed Sunday from Tripoli to “order,” ship-tracking data shows.

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A spokeswoman at Lebanon’s economy ministry said the government isn’t involved with the shipment, as the cargo was bound for the private sector. There’s also no interference from the United Nations — which helped broker the grain-export agreement—on where vessels departing Ukraine head, as those are commercial decisions, a spokesman for its secretary-general said at a briefing Monday.

Meanwhile, a smaller corn vessel from Ukraine reached its final destination in Turkey on Monday, marking the first such ship to reach its terminus, Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry said. In about one week, two more vessels that left together in the caravan will reach their destinations. So far, 10 vessels have left.

Assistance from Volodymyr verbyany, Omar Tamo Áine Quinn.

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