Eighteen vessels carrying 664,000 tons of agricultural products to Africa, Asia, and Europe left the ports of Greater Odesa in the past week under the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which established a humanitarian maritime corridor to allow ships to export grain and other foodstuffs from Ukraine. This is a third less than the volume of agricultural products exported in the previous week.

The Ukrainian Ministry for Development of Communities, Territories, and Infrastructure announced this in a statement, the CFTS portal reports.

In particular, the vessels transported 60,000 tons of wheat to Kenya, 56,000 tons of wheat to Bangladesh, and 60,000 tons of oil to India.

The rate of departure of ships from the ports remains critically low at 2.5 ships per day.

"This is the indicator that we had at the beginning of the operation of the Grain Initiative, when export volumes were insignificant. In addition, the number of vessels that are granted permission to enter Ukrainian ports to be loaded after undergoing inspection in the Bosporus does not exceed 3 per day," the ministry said in the statement.

According to the ministry, Russia’s representatives in the Joint Coordination Commission (JCC) continue to block the implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and artificially increase the number of ships waiting for inspection in the Bosporus. As of 30 January, 117 vessels were waiting for inspection in Turkey’s territorial waters (92 bound for Ukrainian ports to be loaded with agricultural products and 25 already loaded).

"Only 20 ship inspections took place in the past week, compared with the minimum required 84. The registration of vessels to participate in the Black Sea Grain Initiative is also being slowed down: out of the over 80 vessels that have applied, the Russians register an average of only 2–3 vessels daily without explanation. These factors are inhibiting the implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative: we are observing a reduction of almost 30% in export volumes, compared with the previous month, which means that the world is not receiving agricultural products in the required volume. The vast majority of countries are receiving them with huge time delays because of the idling of ships in the Bosporus," the ministry said in the statement.

Currently, 21 vessels are being processed in the ports of Greater Odesa. Almost 1 million tons of Ukrainian agricultural products are being loaded onto them. Only three vessels are traveling through the humanitarian maritime corridor to be loaded.

According to the statement, 687 ships carrying 18.9 million tons of Ukrainian agricultural products to countries in Asia, Europe, and Africa have left the ports of Greater Odesa since 1 August 2022. This figure would be over 28 million tons if the humanitarian maritime corridor were operating steadily.