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Russia destroys 60,000 tonnes of grain in Black Sea missile strike
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

20 July 2023

Russia destroys 60,000 tonnes of grain in Black Sea missile strike

On the nights of 18 and 19 July, Russia launched attacks on Ukraine port infrastructure involved in the Black Sea Grain initiative, officials announced. The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine said that 60,000 tonnes of grain were destroyed in the port of Chornomorsk, which was due to be loaded on a large-tonnage ship and sent through the grain corridor 60 days ago. The UN-brokered deal that facilitated the export of more than 30 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain to global markets via three Black Sea ports expired on Monday, 17 July. Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi said: "The grain infrastructure of international and Ukrainian traders and carriers, such as Kernel, Viterra, suffered the most. This is a terrorist act not against Ukraine, but against the entire world. The world's food security is once again in danger. The humanity is being held hostage by a terrorist country that is blackmailing the world with famine.” He added that the price of grain will rise, resulting in a considerable price hike for food such as flour, cereals and meat will rise considerably. The Russian Defence Ministry warned that ships heading to Ukraine’s Black Sea ports could be considered “potential carriers of military cargo,” as of 20 July. In a statement, it said: “Accordingly, the countries of such vessels will be considered to be involved in the Ukrainian conflict on the side of the Kiev regime. In addition, a number of sea areas in the northwestern and southeastern parts of the international waters of the Black Sea have been declared temporarily dangerous for navigation.” Ukraine’s Air Force said that Russia had fired 19 cruise missiles and 19 kamikaze drones in strikes targeting Odesa and Mykolaiv. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said the decision by the Russian Federation would “strike a blow to people in need everywhere”. Kumar Amit, senior specialist at The Smart Cube, a global provider of sector-specific research and analytics solutions, explained the impact on global food inflation following Russia's withdrawal from the deal: “The suspension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative in isolation may not destabilise global food inflation in the short term, as Ukrainian grain shipments declined significantly from March to June, down 48.6% during this period. Ship inspection rates also experienced a substantial decline during the period.” Amit added that termination of the grain deal, combined with concerns related to possible drought in Europe and the onset of the El Niño weather phenomenon in the second half of 2023, “may lead to a supply shortfall, putting upward pressure on prices”. He continued: “Other key challenges are that a drop in exports may lead to increased stockpiles in Ukraine and could force farmers to reduce sowing in the 2023-24 season. Russia might increase the export tax on wheat to finance its military campaign in Ukraine and, finally, shortage of fertilisers may intensify as Russia, together with Belarus, is one of the world's largest sources of mineral fertilisers. Both countries account for approximately 14% of the world's fertiliser production and exports.” You may also like to read:

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