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UN and the Black Sea Grain Initiative A report by UNCTAD

UN Black Sea grain initiative

Black Sea Grain initiative

The war in Ukraine sent shock waves throughout the global economy, in particular through trade disruptions of food and fertilizers from two of the world’s main breadbaskets, Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This left millions of people in developing and least developed countries at the frontline of a food and price crisis.

In July 2022, two agreements were signed: one is the memorandum of understanding between the UN and the Russian Federation to facilitate the unimpeded access for their food and fertilizers exports to global markets. The second is the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI), signed by the Russian Federation, Türkiye, Ukraine, and witnessed by the U N to allow the safe export of grain, fertilizers and other foodstuff from Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea.

These agreements have helped to bring down the cost of food, stabilize global markets and keep them open.

Pressures remain

However, this progress is fragile and price pressures remain. While food prices have gone down from their all-time high at the start of the war, they remain high compared to pre-crises levels. Moreover, currency depreciations prevent many developing countries from benefiting from global price decreases, and, in the most severe cases, prices have even gone up. Additionally, as is so often the case, the most vulnerable bear the brunt, particularly women.

The UN remains committed to both agreements, and to remove all remaining impediments that constrain access of food and fertilizers from the Russian Federation and Ukraine to global markets.

A Trade Hope

In early March 2023 the Geneva-based UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) issued a 16-page document: A Trade Hope. The impact of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.  This is available in pdf form here:

https://unctad.org/system/files/official-document/osginf2023d3_en.pdf

This report concentrates on showing the benefits of one of the agreements, the Black Sea Grain Initiative, and its contribution to ease market pressures and avert the worst impacts of the food crisis.

The continuation and effective implementation of both agreements are vital for global food security.

 

Black Sea grain initative

 

23million tonnes

As at 5 March 2023, according to UNCTAD, a total of 23,000,000 tonnes of grain were exported under the Initiative.

Wheat and corn are among the world’s most used food staples. Under the Initiative, corn and wheat accounted for 77% of exports.

Developing countries have benefitted the most from the Initiative, supporting food security among the most vulnerable.

Picture captions / credits

2 x pics

 

Illustration per www.unctad.org

Pie chart credit.

Source: UNCTAD secretariat based on data from the Joint Coordination Centre as of 5 March, 2023.

It is understood that cargo may be processed and re-exported from the primary destination.

 

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Containers

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Tonnage

In 2021 101,054,713 tons of goods were handled for the first time in Tanger Med port complex, an increase of 25% compared to 2020. Indeed, the tonnage handled by Tanger Med port complex represents more than 50% of the overall tonnage handled by all Moroccan ports.

Trucks

The port complex handled 407,459 trucks in 2021, a rise of 14% compared to 2020. This traffic was mainly driven by the resumption of industrial exports as well as by the good performance of the agricultural season and agro-industrial exports.

Cars

Regarding new vehicles 429,509 were handled at the two vehicle terminals of Tanger Med port in 2021, an increase of 20% compared to the previous year. The traffic included: 278,651 Renault vehicles including 250,532 for export. A rise in exports of PSA vehicles totalled 100,030 cars.

Liquid bulk

Liquid bulk traffic has increased by 9% compared to 2020. It recorded a total traffic of 8,744,900 tons of hydrocarbons handled.

Solid bulk

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Traffic

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This performance above accomplished during 2021 affirms the position of the port complex as a major strategic hub emphasising its role as a key logistics platform serving the nations logistic competitiveness.

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