Three more ships with grain depart Ukrainian ports

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ISTANBUL — Three more ships with grain have departed Ukrainian ports and are headed to Turkey for inspection, Turkey’s defense ministry said on Friday.

The three ships are loaded with a total of 58,000 tons of corn.

The departure of the ships comes after the first grain ship since the start of the war left Ukraine earlier this week. It crossed the Black Sea under a wartime deal and passed inspection Wednesday in Istanbul and then headed on to Lebanon.

Ukraine is one of the world’s main breadbaskets and the stocks of grain trapped were exacerbating a sharp rise of food prices and raising fears of a global hunger crisis.

The ships that departed Friday from Ukraine are from among over a dozen bulk carriers and cargo ships that had been loaded with grain and stuck at the ports there since the start of the invasion in late February.

While tens of thousands of tons of grains are now making their way out with these latest shipments, it’s still a fraction of the 20 million tons of grains which Ukraine says are trapped in the country’s silos and ports, and which must be shipped out in order to make space for the new harvest.

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