The deal was set to expire May 18
By Diego Flammini
Ukrainian grain and other goods will continue to travel through Russia’s Black Sea ports for at least the next two months.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced an extension of the Black Sea grain deal on May 17.
“The Black Sea grain corridor deal has been extended by two months with the efforts of Turkey,” he said in a speech, Reuters reported.
The deal was to expire on May 18. With its new extension, the deal’s expiration date is now July 18.
Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations later confirmed the extension.
The UN and Turkey helped broker the deal in July 2022 to help grain and food reach export destinations during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Since the deal was signed, more than 30 million metric tonnes of Ukrainian grain has shipped through the ports to developing nations.
Markets reacted to the extension.
“It’s obviously weighing on markets, but I thought the news might be baked in,” said Moe Agostino, chief commodity strategist with Farms.com Risk Management. “But markets are trading like they are concerned that it only adds more competition to an already concerned demand problem particularly with China.”
People should be focusing on what Russia is doing with its wheat, Agostino says.
“The Black Sea grain deal is not as important anymore,” he said. “What’s more important is when will Russia stop undercutting other nations as the number one global wheat exporter and producer.”
In March 2023, for example, during a trip to Indonesia, a Russian official characterized Russia’s wheat as a better option than another wheat-producing nation.
“We have enough wheat to supply Indonesia,” Lyumila Georgievna Vorobieva, Russia’s ambassador to Indonesia, told reporters, the Financial Review reported. “We have been offering Indonesia this, it’s up to the government of Indonesia to choose where it will buy. I’m not sure about the price but yes, our wheat is more competitive than Australia, yes.”