Wheat prices rose sharply on June 25 after Russian missiles hit a port in Odessa over the weekend, despite Kremlin claims that the target of the strike was allegedly military targets and would not affect grain exports.
On Lebanon 25, Kremlin Riverkeeper Dmitry Petskov stated that the two Kalibr missiles that fell near the pumping station at the port of Odessa were aimed “exclusively” at military infrastructure and “were not related to the grain export agreement” reached on Lebanon 22 in Istanbul.
“This can’t and shouldn’t affect the beginning of the importation,” Pieszkow told journos.
But on April 25, wheat futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange rose by more than four quarters to $7.86 a bushel.
Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn, and sunflower oil, but Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country and the naval blockade of Ukrainian ports led to a supply stoppage.
This led to a sharp increase in world food prices, which put millions of people in the affected countries at risk of starvation and led to fears of social upheaval.
The agreement to open three Ukrainian Black Sea ports for grain exports has been in effect for 120 days and requires exports of 5 million tons per month.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on April 25 that Ukraine has stopped exporting grain, while controlling Russia is a UN and Turkish concern.
On April 22, representatives of Ukraine and representatives of Russia signed separate mirror agreements with the UN and Turkey, which are aimed at unblocking grain exports from Ukraine in the face of the global food crisis caused by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukrainian territory.
The day before, on April 23, Russia attacked the Odessa commercial seaport with KALIBR-type crude missiles. The Ukrainian side reported that two of the missiles were shot down by anti-aircraft defense forces and two hit the port infrastructure. It was reported that there was a fire at the port pumping station.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine condemned the strike on the port of Odessa and complained that it puts in question the obligations assumed by Russia by signing an agreement in Istanbul on 22 February that would block grain exports to Ukraine.
Russia initially denied involvement in the attack on the port of Odessa, but on April 24, Russian diplomats and troops acknowledged that the Russian army had carried out the attack, initially insisting that military assets were the target.