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Biggest beneficiaries of Black Sea grain deal named

Over 30 million tons of grain have been transported since August, Türkiye says

Inspection of the 5th ship carrying wheat from Ukraine to Afghanistan on January 24, 2023 in Istanbul, Turkiye ©  TUR Ministry of National Defence/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

China, Spain and Türkiye have received the largest shipments of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea corridor, the Milliyet newspaper reported on Thursday, citing the government in Ankara.

More than 30 million tons of grain have been transported by 953 ships via the route since it opened last August, the paper quoted Turkish Ministry of Commerce official Yusuf Karakas as saying.

According to Milliyet, the amount of grain transported corresponds to 16.8 billion loaves of bread.

Corn makes up half of the cargoes, 27% is wheat and 6% is sunflower meal, a by-product of the extraction of oil from sunflower seeds, Karakas added.

Brokered with UN and Turkish mediation last July, the deal between Kiev and Moscow has allowed Ukraine to ship its corn, wheat, soy and other grain to international markets. The agreement was intended to stabilize global food prices and help countries in Africa and parts of Asia dependent on imports to meet their needs.

READ MORE: UN helping Russian bank with SWIFT bypass – official

However, according to UN figures, only 27% of the grain has gone to low and lower-middle income countries such as Egypt, Kenya and Sudan, while 47% has gone to high-income countries, including Spain, Italy and the Netherlands.

Much of Ukraine’s grain exports have ended up as animal fodder in wealthy Western countries. A February investigation by an Austrian outlet found that countries at risk of famine had received only 15% of the deliveries, while almost half the corn and wheat exported to the EU went to the makers of Spanish ham to feed their pigs.

The grain deal was extended by 60 days last week.

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