Ukraine, UN Chief Call for New Black Sea Grain Deal
Last July, Ukraine and Russia signed a deal backed by the United Nations that allowed for 23 millions of tons of grain to be exported from blockaded Black Sea ports.
The deal, which had an initial term of 120 days, was seen as a means of averting a global food crisis, and in November 2022 it was extended for another four months with an expiration date of March 18, 2023, barring any further extensions.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and UN Secretary General António Guterres both stated they back a renewal of the agreement, but Russia has signaled its disagreement with portions of the deal, prompting grain traders to warn of potential risks to supplies and volatility in grain prices.
Before the war, exports from Ukraine and Russia accounted for about 30 percent of the global wheat trade. And the general success of the arrangement allowing for the continued shipments of wheat, corn, oilseeds, and barley has reduced the global wheat price by about 30 percent since its peak last June.