Russia is stealing Ukrainian grain crops and try to sell it on international markets. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry estimates that Russia may have seized between 400,000 and 500,000 metric tons of grain, the equivalent of more than 100 million dollars, since the beginning of the war. According to this ministry, the Russian army has transported the stolen grain to Crimea, where it is loaded onto ships bound for the Mediterranean Sea to be sold. The Matros Pozynich will be one of them. The ship is currently docked in Latakia, Syria’s main port city, from where it can supply the grain to other Middle Eastern countries.
The Matros Pozynich, which set sail from the Crimean port at the end of April, is carrying 27,000 tons of grain and was originally bound for the port of Alexandria in Egypt. According to FleetMon, Egyptian authorities prevented the ship from dropping anchor and it eventually set sail for Syria. The ship shut down her transporters on May 4. It is known that she is the same one docked in Latakia from satellite images captured by Planet Labs and later verified by Associated Press.
The Russian naval blockade and the shelling of the port city of Osea have prevented Ukrainian ships carrying grain from leaving the ports. In total, this blockade has caused about 25 million tons of grain remain in the warehouses of the invaded country, remaining at the mercy of Vladimir Putin’s army.
The world continues to buy Russian wheat
The war has not prevented other nations from continuing to buy wheat from Russia. It is true that at the beginning of the conflict there was a slight drop in demand, mainly due to the fact that some merchants had financing and logistics problems. But, in general terms, wheat shipments have maintained their usual volumes. What’s more, Russian wheat sales tripled last month from the previous yearalthough it must be taken into account that the starting point is a lower amount than usual due to export taxes.
At the end of March, sales reached 26.8 million tons. April exports amounted to 2.1 million tons, according to Logistics OS. Some figures as a result of the strong demand for grain, driven by the war itself started by Russia, the invading country has seen its income from wheat reinforced by an export tax that he introduced to safeguard local supplies.
Although there have been many foreign companies that have announced that they are leaving Russia since the beginning of the invasion, it has not been the norm among agri-food companies, which at most have promised not to make new investments in the country.
Russian grain has continued to flow mainly because the sector has not been affected by the sanctions nor has it faced the pressures to which other industries have been subjected in order to curb their activity, according to Bloomberg.
About to experience a food shortage
The United Nations Organization has warned this week that, if the war in Ukraine and the blockade of Ukrainian port cities continue, a world food crisis.
“In 2023, there will be a food shortage problem”said David Beasley, executive director of the UN World Food Program, at a conference, which includes fortune. To avoid this scenario, Beasley urged the Russian authorities to lift the Ukrainian blockade at all costs.
The first countries that would first and most be affected by food shortages in the event of a continuation of the armed conflict would be Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan and Cameroonwho depended on Ukraine and Russia for at least half of their wheat imports before the war, according to data from Human Rights Watch.