Ukrainian ports gradually open as three more food-laden ships prepare to depart

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Three more ships will leave Black Sea ports laden with food on Friday morning as part of a grain deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, officials said.

Two of the ships will leave the port of Chernomorsk and another will leave the port of Odessa carrying a combined total of more than 58,000 tons of corn.

“We hope for the professionalism of everyone involved,” Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Alexander Kubrakov wrote on Facebook.

A security guard stands next to the Navi-Star ship which is full of grain.

A security guard stands next to the Navi-Star ship which is full of grain.
(AP Photo/David Goldman)

Under the agreement as officials reached on July 22, ships are allowed to leave the ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny with grain, corn and related food.

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The deal appeared in jeopardy on July 23 when Russia launched a series of missile strikes on the Ukrainian coastbut the first ship with 26,000 tonnes of maize left this week.

Security personnel stand in front of a grain storage terminal at the Odessa Seaport in Odessa, Ukraine.

Security personnel stand in front of a grain storage terminal at the Odessa Seaport in Odessa, Ukraine.
(AP Photo/David Goldman)

The February Russian Invasion of Ukraine has driven down food prices around the world, as both countries are key players in the global commodity market.

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The UN FAO Food Price Index, which reflects the international prices of a basket of foodstuffs, rose 23% in June compared to the same period last year.