ANKARA, May 25. /TASS/. Turkey, China and Spain have received the largest number of maritime shipments dispatched under the Black Sea Initiative grain deal, Yusuf Karakas, the grain corridor coordinator, said on Thursday.
"So far, 30.3 million [metric] tons of grain on 953 vessels have been transported through the grain corridor. Most of the products have been shipped to China, or 23% of the total volume. Spain’s share is 18% and Turkey’s is 11.87%," said Karakas, deputy director general of the Turkish Trade Ministry’s Directorate General of International Service Trade.
"Overall, Turkey has received 222 ships, while 420 ships passed through [the country] as part of grain corridor [shipping] activity," Turkey’s Milliyet daily newspaper quoted Karakas as saying.
He specified that "corn accounts for 50% of the food shipped, wheat accounts for 27%, while sunflower meal - for 6%." Karakas reiterated that before the conflict began, "Russia accounted for 75% of Turkey's sunflower oil imports, and Ukraine - for three percent." "We received 65% of our wheat from Russia and 10% from Ukraine. These two countries are an important source of imports for us. If we stop buying from them, distant countries, such as Canada and Argentina, will be the alternative. But in this case, logistics costs will grow," Karakas noted.
The grain deal was extended for two months from May 18. The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier stated that the Russian part of the agreement was not being implemented. Moscow demands renewed access of Russian ships to foreign ports, normalization of the situation with dry cargo insurance, reconnection of Rosselkhozbank to the SWIFT interbank payment system and the launch of the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline.
In connection with the extension of the deal Moscow expressed the hope that Russia’s conditions will be met, otherwise there is a risk that the agreements will not be extended.