PIXABAY

Jun 23, 2022

Russia Targets North American-Owned Grain Terminals in Ukraine

Sites owned by Viterra and Bunge struck in Wednesday attacks

Infrastructure owned by two major agriculture traders was damaged in Russian attacks at one of the biggest crop-handling ports in Ukraine, adding to the mounting losses suffered by its farm sector, reports Bloomberg.

Rocket strikes on the Ukrainian port city of Mykolayiv on Wednesday damaged a terminal owned by agricultural trader Viterra, and the site is on fire, a company spokesperson said. Bunge Ltd. also said one of its facilities was hit and a city rescue brigade was at the site.

According to a report at the Wall Street Journal, Viterra said one employee was treated for burns. Bunge said there had been no casualties at its plant, which has been closed since Russia’s invasion began.

The Journal report noted a large sunflower-oil processing plant and other grain terminals have also been hit during the war, and Wednesday’s attack is the second time Bunge has been targeted.

Turkey, Russia continue negotiations

The grain terminal uattacks come even as delegations from Turkey and Russia said they held a “positive” meeting in Moscow on the exit of grain-laden ships from Ukraine.

Russia’s invasion has left about 18 million metric tons of grain stranded in Ukraine, heightening fears of a global food crisis and driving up the cost of food worldwide. The issue is compounding for Ukrainian farmers, whose fields and equipment have been targeted and are running out of storage space.

President Joe Biden said the U.S. will build temporary silos on Poland’s border with Ukraine to facilitate the export of grain out of Ukraine.

There have been several plans floated to get Ukrainian grain moving again. But a solution won't solve the problem overnight.

“‘Even if an agreement were reached today, safe passage could take months to complete," Rabobank analysts said Wednesday in an emailed note.

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