JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network): PT Comexindo International, a joint venture (JV) between Indonesia’s Arsari Group and United States-Swiss company Harvest Commodities, has become the first company to transport grain out of Russia since the Ukraine war began.
“The MV White Shark was loaded with 25,000 tonnes of wheat [...] at the Russian port of Novorossiysk yesterday,” Arsari and Harvest Commodities announced in a joint press release on Monday (Aug 8).
“It is expected to set sail today [...] and will be heading for Egypt.” The statement also said:
“Another ship, the MV Bronco, is picking up another 20,000 tonnes of wheat for PT Comexindo International at Novorossiysk and is also scheduled to set sail soon with Angola as its destination.”
“These are the first of many shipments where PT Comexindo International purchases grain from Russian and Ukrainian farmers and sells it to international buyers,” the joint venture said.
The resumption of grain shipments from Russia comes around a week after another Comexindo-owned vessel picked up corn feed from the Ukrainian port of Odesa, its first shipment from the country since the war.
The resumption of commercial shipments from Russia was “yet another sign of US-Russia efforts to alleviate the global food shortage caused by the conflict in Ukraine”, the statement said.
It added that safe passage from the two countries was the result of “tireless efforts and agreement between the United States, Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and Indonesian governments, as well as the United Nations”.
Russia was the world’s largest wheat exporter in 2021, while Ukraine ranks among the top suppliers.
Plummeting grain shipments from the two countries have massively reduced global supplies and driven up prices.
The freeze placed on Russian assets, as well as other sanctions imposed on the country by the European Union and the US have severely curbed its exports, with the African Union complaining in May that EU banking sanctions had hampered food purchases by member countries.
The EU eased its sanctions on July 21 to allow Russian exports of food and fertilizer, following earlier claims from EU officials that the sanctions had not contributed to the global food crisis.