An offer came from France for the extraction of wheat, which could not be exported because the Ukrainian ports were under Russian occupation. While Ukraine did not want to clear about 400 mines without the United Nations’ security convoy, the European Union announced on May 13 its plan to transport wheat by rail despite the ‘Rail Width’ obstacle. On the other hand, Russia stated that the wheat produced by Ukraine corresponds to less than 1 percent of the world market, while Turkey and Italy expressed their support for the UN plan.
Before The War, Most Of The Food Produced By Ukraine , enough to feed 400 million people, was exported through the country’s ‘seven’ Black Sea ports, according to the UN World Food Program (WFP) . Eight months before the start of the conflict, close to 51 million metric tons of grain were transported from the ports. In the month after the start of the war, export prices of wheat and maize rose 22 percent and 20 percent, respectively, on top of rapid increases in 2021 and early 2022.
COUNTRIES WELCOME THE WORLD WHEAT
According To The 2021-2022 Data Of The World Agricultural Production Site, China, India And Russia share the first three places among the top ten countries that produce the most wheat, excluding the total production of EU countries, while Ukraine is in the 6th place with approximately 33 million tons and Turkey is in the 10th place. .
UNITED NATIONS PLAN
Turkey and Italy expressed that Ukraine supports the transportation of wheat, which is expressed as approximately 20 million tons, by ships from Odessa and other ports to the Bosphorus, protected by the UN convoy. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in a statement on May 15, “There is a UN plan. We support this plan. We think that the UN plan is a viable plan. I explained it to Lavrov during our meeting in Ankara. On the other hand, we are waiting for answers from Russia.” If there is a four-party meeting, all issues including the mechanism to be established and its control will be discussed in detail here. It will be here in Turkey, the UN, Russia and Ukraine. Everyone’s concerns need to be addressed. Safe lines, safe zones instead of clearing mines. If there is a positive response, we will hold the 4-meeting in Istanbul,” he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who visited Romania at the beginning of the week , stated that Odessa is a few dozen kilometers away from Romania, and that the Danube River and the railway network can be accessed through Romania. Macron stressed that the Romanian plan will be faster.
US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that temporary silos will be built along the Polish-Ukrainian border as a solution to the growing global food crisis. Biden stated that this solution could also prevent Russia from reaching wheat.
DESPITE THE ‘RAIL WIDTH’ OBSTACLE, EU ANNOUNCED ITS PLAN ON MAY 13
The European Union Commission announced that on May 13, 20 million tons of wheat is planned to be taken out of the country by roads and railways. However, it has been stated that there is a problem between the railways of Ukraine and the railways of EU countries that ‘different rail width’, prolonging the transportation of products in terms of time and process. Among other problems, waiting times of up to 30 days were shown as the bureaucratic processes at border crossings are prolonged.
RUSSIA: GRAIN IN UKRAINE MAKES LESS THAN 1% OF THE WORLD MARKET
Russia’s Ambassador to Washington, Anatoli Antonov, stated in his article on June 16 that Russia became a target in the wheat crisis, and according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). There is currently no physical shortage of food in the world. However, there are problems with the distribution of agro-industrial products and their delivery to consumers.
Emphasizing that the agricultural products crisis dates back to 2020, Antonov said, “Twenty million tons of grain, which is assumed to be ready for shipment from Ukrainian ports, which our so-called partners are constantly talking about, accounts for less than 1 percent of the total volume of the global food market. The delay in wheat exports cannot be considered as a ‘catastrophic’ development of the general situation.