First Ship Under Ukraine Grain Deal Delayed En Route to Lebanon
The first grain ship to leave a Ukrainian port under a deal brokered last month will not arrive in Lebanon on Sunday as planned, the Ukrainian embassy in Lebanon said.
The Razoni left Odesa on the Black Sea early last Monday carrying 26,527 tonnes of corn and was set to dock on Sunday in the northern Lebanese port city of Tripoli, according to Ukrainian officials and Lebanese port authorities.
But the Ukrainian embassy in Lebanon told Reuters on Sunday the ship was "having a delay" and "not arriving today," with no details on a new arrival date or the cause of the postponement.
Shipping data on MarineTraffic.com showed the Razoni off the Turkish coast on Sunday morning.
The vessel's bill of lading, a copy of which was seen by Reuters on Sunday, had the expected arrival date as Tuesday and listed the cargo destination as "to order," which typically means that a ship's cargo can be transferred from one owner to the next.
Lebanon's transport, agriculture and economy ministers all told Reuters last week they did not know who was purchasing the grain aboard the Razoni.
The shipment was made possible after Turkey and the United Nations brokered a grain and fertilizer export agreement between Moscow and Kyiv last month - a rare diplomatic breakthrough in a drawn-out war of attrition.
The U.N. had warned that the halt in grain shipments from Ukraine through the Russian-dominated Black Sea could prompt outbreaks of famine around the world.
The Joint Coordination Center (JCC), which will oversee the export of Ukrainian grain, said the ship would be used as a trial run, with information from Razoni's crew used to fine-tune procedures for the next shipments.
(Reuters - Reporting by Maya Gebeily; Editing by Susan Fenton)