According to the United Nations (UN), a deal between Ukraine and Russia to resume exports of wheat through the Black Sea has been signed, potential ending world supply issues of the essential ingredient.

The deal was signed on Friday 22nd July by representatives from Turkey, Ukraine, Russia and Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The Russian Federation and Ukraine, combined, have accounted for around 30% and 20% of global wheat and maize exports, respectively, over the past three years.

Since the outbreak of the conflict in February of this year, world food commodity prices have hit their highest levels ever as exports of wheat from Ukraine were halted.

Under the terms of the deal, Russia will not target ports while shipments of grain are in transit. According to diplomats, the deal also includes terms such as:

  • Ukrainian vessels will guide cargo ships through waters that have been mined
  • Russian exports of grain and fertiliser via the Black Sea will be facilitated
  • Supported by the UN, Turkey will inspect ships to allay Russian fears of weapons smuggling.

Commenting on the signing, UN secretary general Antonio Gutteres called the deal a “beacon of hope on the Black Sea” that would help “bridge the supply gap and reduce the pressure on food prices.”