War-torn Ukraine could launch its first grain-exporting ships as soon as this week, Turkish officials said Sunday.
“If all (details) are completed by tomorrow, it seems like there is a high possibility that the first ship will leave the port tomorrow,” said government spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin. “We will see ships leaving the ports the next day at the latest.”
The United Nations brokered deal in Istanbul in hopes to alleviate both grain shortages and spiking prices.
Both Ukraine and Russia are major wheat suppliers, with exports plunging in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor.
The deal would allow for grain shipments out of a Ukrainian port in Odessa.
It would also allow Ukraine to free up 22 million tons of grain and other agricultural goods that have been sitting in ports since hostilities erupted in February.
Weather conditions in other grain producing areas, including South America, have also contributed to growing supply concerns, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Turkish-brokered deal has led to an easing of grain prices, but ongoing instability in Ukraine and recession fears continue to fuel concerns.
With Post wires