February 9, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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A Lebanese buyer, the first shipment of corn from Ukraine, refuses to ship despite the severe shortage in the grain market

A Lebanese buyer, the first shipment of corn from Ukraine, refuses to ship despite the severe shortage in the grain market

A new buyer is now being sought for more than 26,000 tons of corn on board the ship. On August 1, the ship was the first to leave the port of Odessa after the warring parties Ukraine and Russia, under the auspices of Turkey and the United Nations, reached a four-month agreement on the export of grain, wheat and other products. food. Compliance is overseen and arranged by a Turkish Vice Admiral of the Navy, from a coordination center in Istanbul.

After an inspection in Istanbul, the Razouni (flagged for Sierra Leone) sailed to the Lebanese port city of Tripoli, where she was supposed to arrive last weekend. From there, the corn — intended to be turned into chicken feed — will be partly smuggled into neighboring Syria, according to Lebanese government employees. Because of international sanctions, the government in Damascus is having great difficulty procuring food items from the global market itself.

Everything turned out differently: Run marinetraffic.com, a website that tracks international freight traffic, showed Tripoli being removed as a registered destination on Sunday. “All I know is that the ship is no longer coming here,” said Tripoli port manager Ahmed Tamer. The (unknown) Lebanese buyer is silent. Spokesman marinetraffic.com The situation was mentioned in the German newspaper Die Felt “A little strange.” Both the Lebanese government and the United Nations say they did not interfere with the sale because it was a commercial shipment.

Long queues at the bakers

Lebanon has been hit hard by the scarcity of the grain market. Since the start of the war, the price of flour has risen by 200 percent – a severe blow to a country already in economic ruin. Speculators prevent much of the wheat from reaching flour producers, which leads to long queues at bakeries across the country. Moreover, part of a grain silo in Beirut port collapsed last week, left over from a devastating explosion two years ago. The grain left behind had fermented due to government negligence and caught fire, causing the concrete walls to collapse. Plumes of smoke remained over the city for hours.

In addition to the Lebanese, the crisis also affects more than one million Syrian refugees. They are often stigmatized and have to see how the Lebanese are prioritized. A Syrian in the north of the country told The Associated Press that he often visits three or four different bakers before finding bread to sell. “Sometimes we come home empty-handed.”

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