The United Nations Secretary General says he welcomes an agreement by all parties to extend the Black Sea grain deal to facilitate Ukraine's agricultural exports from its southern Black Sea ports.
The agreement, initially reached in July, created a protected sea transit corridor and was designed to alleviate global food shortages by allowing exports to resume from three ports in Ukraine, a major producer of grains and oilseeds.
"I welcome the agreement by all parties to continue the Black Sea grain initiative to facilitate the safe navigation of export of grain, foodstuffs and fertilisers from Ukraine," UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a statement on Thursday.
Guterres said the UN was also "fully committed to removing the remaining obstacles to exporting food and fertilisers from the Russian Federation" - a part of the deal Moscow sees as critical.
Since July, some 11.1 million tonnes of agricultural products have been shipped, including 4.5 million tonnes of corn and 3.2 million tonnes of wheat.
Wheat prices on the Chicago Board of Trade fell following the news that the agreement would be extended with the benchmark contract down 1.6 per cent at $US8.04 a bushel while corn prices fell 0.7 per cent to $US6.60 a half bushel.
A drop in shipments from Ukraine following Russia's invasion in February has played a role in this year's global food price crisis but there have also been other important drivers including the COVID-19 pandemic and continued climate shocks such as droughts in both Argentina and the United States.
The export of Russian ammonia via a pipeline to the Black Sea is not yet agreed as part of the renewal of the grain deal, a source familiar with discussions told Reuters.
Negotiations are continuing on that issue said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.