Reuters writer Pavel Polityuk reported yesterday that, "Ukraine’s 2023 grain harvest is likely to fall to 44.3 million tonnes from 53.1 million in 2022 as less acreage is sown due…
If No Objections, Black Sea Grain Initiative Automatically Extended, Mixed Signals on Extension Emerge
Reuters writer Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber reported yesterday that, “Russia on Monday suggested renewing a deal allowing the safe export of grain from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports but only for half the term of the previous renewal while the United Nations pledged to do everything possible to ensure the agreement’s integrity remained intact.”
“The deal, extended for 120 days in November, is up for renewal on Saturday. But Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin said after talks with U.N. officials in Geneva that Moscow was ready to extend the deal for only 60 days, citing restrictions on Russia agricultural exporters,” the article said.
However, Bloomberg writers Aine Quinn, Megan Durisin and Aliaksandr Kudrytski reported yesterday that, “Ukraine pushed back on Russia’s apparent offer to extend the landmark grain-export deal by just 60 days when it comes up for renewal later this week.
“Russian and United Nations officials held discussions in Geneva on Monday as crop traders watch for news about whether the pact will remain in place. While Russia said it was open to the limited extension, Ukrainian infrastructure minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Twitter that the proposal contradicted the terms of the overarching agreement, which allows for renewals of at least 120 days.”
#BlackSeaGrainInitiative agreement involves at least 120 d. of extension, therefore Russia’s position to extend the deal only for 60 d. contradicts the document signed by Turkey & the UN. We’re waiting for the official position of @UN & Turkey as the guarantors of the initiative pic.twitter.com/TPhpaHUdhg— Oleksandr Kubrakov (@OlKubrakov) March 13, 2023
The Bloomberg writers explained that, “The Black Sea Grain Initiative’s terms say it will remain in effect for 120 days from signing and can be automatically extended for the same period, unless one of the parties notifies their intent to terminate or amend it.”
"#Wheat 🌾Retreat," from Bloomberg's Elements Email— FarmPolicy (@FarmPolicy) March 13, 2023
* Additional background, here: https://t.co/yFazhTbKZj pic.twitter.com/oI8eJx1U3R
Meanwhile, Reuters writer Lidia Kelly reported today that, “A deal allowing the safe export of grain from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports will be extended automatically after it expires on March 18 if there are no objections from the involved parties, Russia’s TASS state news agency reported on Tuesday.
Citing an unnamed source familiar with the details of the negotiations around the agreement, TASS reported that so far none of the involved sides had indicated a withdrawal.
The Reuters article pointed out that, “‘If the deal is extended for 60 days, it will continue to operate after March 18, and after 60 days one of the parties may raise the issue of its termination,’ the source added.
“The prices of corn and wheat have been under pressure on hopes of a deal renewal.”
"Grain traders will be closely watching negotiations this week over extending 🇺🇦Ukraine’s #BlackSea crop-export deal.— FarmPolicy (@FarmPolicy) March 13, 2023
"The pact’s latest 120-day run ends March 18," https://t.co/m0KZB41znC pic.twitter.com/4epYgSpwpf
Also today, Reuters writer Emma Farge reported that, “Informal dialogue between the United Nations and parties to the Black Sea grains deal continue over an extension, a U.N. spokesperson said on Tuesday, adding that the in-person talks with Russia have already ended.
“‘The talks completed yesterday as agreed, but consultations continue with all parties,’ a spokesperson for the humanitarian office of the United Nations led by Martin Griffiths said in an emailed response to Reuters questions.”
However, a separate Reuters News article today reported that, “A Russian official said a landmark deal allowing Ukraine to export grain through its Black Sea ports has been extended for 60 days, though Kyiv said it would stick to a 120-day extension and Turkey said talks were ongoing.”
The article noted that, “‘Indeed, the deal has been extended – it has been agreed that it has been extended for 60 days,’ the TASS news agency cited Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko as saying on Tuesday.
“RIA news agency also quoted Grushko as saying the deal had been extended. According to RIA, Grushko cited another deputy foreign minister, Sergei Vershinin, confirming the extension.
“United Nations officials gave no immediate comment on the extension.”
Bloomberg writers Aine Quinn and Megan Durisin reported today that, “Wheat fluctuated as Russia and Ukraine gave conflicting signals on whether a key grain-export deal had been extended.”
“A UN spokesperson did not immediately confirm whether or not there has been an extension of the deal, while Turkey called on the participants to renew the agreement,” the Bloomberg article said.