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Ukraine grain cargo rejected by Lebanese buyer

Number of grain-carrying ships that have left or will leave Ukraine under maritime corridor agreement reaches at least 12

The first shipment from Ukraine is in limbo because the Lebanese buyer rejected the cargo on grounds that too much time has elapsed, while two more vessels have been authorised to depart Chornomorsk port carrying 70,020 tonnes of corn and sunflower meal en route to South Korea and Türkiye

AS TWO more vessels departed Ukraine under the maritime corridor deal set up by the United Nations, Türkiye, Ukraine and Russia, the first shipment on board Razoni (IMO: 9086526) is in limbo as the Lebanese buyer has refused to accept the cargo.

According to the Ukrainian embassy in Lebanon, the buyer rejected the cargo on grounds that too much time has elapsed.

It said in its Facebook account: “According to the information provided by the shipper of the Ukrainian grain on board Razoni, the buyer in Lebanon refused to accept the cargo due to delays in delivery terms (more than five months). So the shipper is now looking for another consignee to offload his cargo either in Lebanon/Tripoli or any other country/port.”

The Sierra Leone-flagged 29,292 dwt bulk carrier laden with more than 26,000 tonnes of corn, is currently stopped in Mersin anchorage, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence data. It left Odesa on August 1.

It was due to dock in Tripoli, Lebanon, on August 7, but was signalling “on order” that day, suggesting the buyer had pulled out. It has since been fluctuating between Mersin and Iskenderun as the destination, with the most recent reading was Mersin, with an expected arrival on August 9. 

An official at the Ukrainian embassy told Lloyd’s List it is not unusual to see a change in destination prior to unloading cargo. Lebanon is in need of wheat, not corn, he said, adding that he did not think the cargo was damaged.

Razoni’s movements have been closely followed given it was the first ship to sail under the Black Sea Grain initiative, set up in late July to ensure safe passage of food items to allay any fears of a food crisis.

Under the agreement, ships are subject to inspections in Turkish waters; vessels from Ukraine should only carry grains and other food-related items, while inbound ships are required to be empty.

Operating procedures have been issued by the Joint Coordination Centre, which is monitoring vessel movements, as part of the deal. 

Meanwhile, the JCC announced that two more ships were authorised to leave Chornomorsk port in Ukraine on August 9.

They are the Liberia-flagged bulk carrier Ocean Lion (IMO: 9296248), carrying 64,720 tonnes of corn, which will sail to Incheon, South Korea, and the Türkiye-flagged Rahmi Yagci (IMO: 9550852), a general cargoship carrying 5,300 tonnes of sunflower meal, heading to Istanbul.

The two vessels will bring the total cargo authorised to depart Ukraine to 375,131 tonnes on 12 ships since the initiative was agreed.

“Timings may be affected based on readiness, weather conditions or other unexpected circumstances,” the JCC said. “Destinations referred to are the ones communicated to the JCC at the time of authorisation and they may change based on commercial activity.”

The JCC also announced that it will conduct inspections on August 9 for three outbound vessels that departed during the past few days.

The trio are Riva Wind (IMO: 9301196) and Glory (IMO: 9288473)anchored at Istanbul, and Star Helena (IMO: 9361213).


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