Ukraine working to release detained wheat shipment for Egypt
By Sarah El Safty and Mahmoud Salama
CAIRO, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Ukrainian officials are working to release a detained vessel carrying Ukrainian wheat purchased by Egypt's government, Ukraine's Mideast envoy told reporters on Monday. The vessel, Emmakris III, was detained last month at the request of Ukraine's prosecutor general to investigate its alleged Russian owner, court documents seen by Reuters showed.
"We are working in coordination with all the responsible authorities in Ukraine and in Egypt, to see that this ship is allowed to set sail as soon as possible," Ukraine's special envoy to the Middle East Maksym Subkh said.
The cargo of around 60,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat was purchased by Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), in a December tender for shipment in February but has been stuck at the Port of Chornomorsk since Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.
The vessel was expected to sail last month after the United Nations and Turkey brokered a deal to restart Black Sea grain and fertiliser exports blocked since the start of the crisis.
The detention was due to allegations that the vessel is owned by a Russian company involved in "financing action aimed at changing the boundaries of the territory or state border of Ukraine," the court order said.
The cargo was supplied to GASC by trading company Olam, while the freight was supplied by Dubai-based trading company GTCS, which has denied owning the vessel in a statement to Reuters on Aug. 10.
"Emmakris III has been chartered by us to carry the wheat cargo in accordance with the terms of the GASC tender," the company said. "The vessel does not belong and has never belonged to a Russian company."
According to the court order, the registered owner of the vessel is Dubai-based company Greater Bloom Limited but Ukrainian officials believe the actual owner is a Russian company.
The company the Ukrainian officials claim is the actual owner did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Egypt, typically the world's largest wheat importer, depended heavily on shipments of Black Sea wheat that were disrupted by Russia's Feb. 24 invasion for its subsidized bread programme. It now seeks to diversify wheat supplies, buying more than a million tonnes in July through tenders and direct purchases in an effort to boost its strategic reserves.
Egypt's supply ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
Reporting by Reuters Bureaux; Editing by Josie Kao
Disclaimer: The XM Group entities provide execution-only service and access to our Online Trading Facility, permitting a person to view and/or use the content available on or via the website, is not intended to change or expand on this, nor does it change or expand on this. Such access and use are always subject to: (i) Terms and Conditions; (ii) Risk Warnings; and (iii) Full Disclaimer. Such content is therefore provided as no more than general information. Particularly, please be aware that the contents of our Online Trading Facility are neither a solicitation, nor an offer to enter any transactions on the financial markets. Trading on any financial market involves a significant level of risk to your capital.
All material published on our Online Trading Facility is intended for educational/informational purposes only, and does not contain – nor should it be considered as containing – financial, investment tax or trading advice and recommendations; or a record of our trading prices; or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instruments; or unsolicited financial promotions to you.
Any third-party content, as well as content prepared by XM, such as: opinions, news, research, analyses, prices and other information or links to third-party sites contained on this website are provided on an “as-is” basis, as general market commentary, and do not constitute investment advice. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, it would be considered as marketing communication under the relevant laws and regulations. Please ensure that you have read and understood our Notification on Non-Independent Investment. Research and Risk Warning concerning the foregoing information, which can be accessed here.