Russia Steps Out of Black Sea Agreement

Market to Market | Clip
Jul 21, 2023 | 2 min

The war in Ukraine is nearly 18 months old.  At the beginning, there was concern that the price of grain leaving Europe’s breadbasket would push the price of food out of reach for some countries. A deal - albeit a shaky one - lasted nearly the same length of time but all that has changed.

Peter Tubbs has our report.


The Russian government ended its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative Monday. The Kremlin threatened to fire on Black Sea shipping until its demands to get more of its agricultural products onto global markets are met. Russia had previously announced record wheat exports over the last year. 

The pact, which was initially agreed to in July of 2022, allowed for the export and transportation of grain from certain ports on the Black Sea while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was being fought. The deal has been extended three times over the last year.

The grain exports were primarily being sold to countries in the Middle East and Africa. The United Nations, which helped to negotiate and monitor the pact, estimates that 1,000 ships successfully exited the Black Sea to 45 countries. Over 36 million tons of food commodities were exported from three Ukrainian ports during the agreement period. 

Corn made up half of the exports, with wheat filling another quarter of the export shipments.  The accord is credited with helping to reduce soaring prices of corn, wheat, barley and sunflower products in developing nations. 

As the pact expired, Russia pounded cities in southern Ukraine, including the port city of Odessa, in three different rounds of missile and drone attacks. Dozens have been wounded.

For Market to Market, I’m Peter Tubbs.