When President Zelenskyy Thinks Ukraine's Grain Shipments Will Head Out

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has reaffirmed Ukraine's readiness to export grain.

As Al-Jazeera reports, Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement last week that will allow grain exports to leave Ukraine and arrive in Turkey. This was a necessary diplomatic breakthrough as the cessation of grain shipments that the invasion of Ukraine caused put some 47 million people at risk. Moreover, Ukraine had a surplus of grain in its stockpiles. It needed to be removed before the upcoming harvest, which would only worsen this overflow.

However, less than a day later, Russia fired missiles at the Ukrainian port city of Odesa (via CNBC). This act put the prospect of future exports from the port cities in doubt. Many accused Russia of weaponizing hunger as an extra pressure to convince the world that it should occupy Ukraine. "This proves only one thing: no matter what Russia says and promises, it will find ways not to implement it," Zelenskyy commented at the time. Now, however, we may have a better understanding of when exactly Ukraine's grain shipments will leave the war-torn nation.

Ukraine's exports are necessary for global food security

Ukraine's grain agreement is already being threatened, but President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has re-expressed Ukraine's readiness and need to resume its exports. According to Reuters, Zelenskyy made a trip to Chronomorsk, a Ukrainian port city near Odesa. "We are ready to export Ukrainian grain," he declared there. "We are waiting for signals from our partners about the start of transportation." He continued by noting that it was important for Ukraine to attempt to remain a food supplier despite attempts to disrupt its trade patterns.

The importance of food trade is made even more evident in a recent report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Serving as an outlook of the time period from June to September, the report predicts that the war will continue to aggravate food prices and supply chains that have already been hurt by the ongoing aftershocks of the coronavirus pandemic.

These shocks can be seen by data the Ukrainian Agribusiness Club shared with ABC News. Ukraine produces 46% of the world's sunflower oil exports, 37% of its millet, 13% of its barley, 10% of its wheat, 8% of its honey, and 7% of its walnuts. Therefore, if Russia continues its blockade, many will ultimately suffer as grocery prices continue to rise because of the war. Still, Zelenskyy warns that his grain will ship soon, so good news may be on the horizon.