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As reported by Interfax, President Vladimir Putin said at the virtual G20 summit yesterday that he wanted to inform the summit participants “the first ships with free Russian grain have been sent to Africa, to the needy countries ... there is growing turbulence on the markets, and chronic problems in the international financial sector, energy and food security are aggravating [them].”

The first two ships carrying 25,000 tonnes each to Somalia and Burkina Faso have already left Russian ports, Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said at the end of last week. The ships are expected to arrive at their destinations in late November or early December.

Ships bound for the Central African Republic, Zimbabwe, Mali, and Eritrea will be loaded with wheat and sent to these countries by the end of the year. Those supplies will total up to 200,000 tonnes.

As reported, Putin said at the July 27-28 Russia-Africa Forum in St. Petersburg that Russia intends to supply 25-50,000 tonnes of grain to a number of African countries free of charge in the following months. These are grain supplies for Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, the Central African Republic, and Eritrea, also to be shipped free of charge.

The commercial supplies of Russian wheat to Africa are also continuing. This export destination has become one of the priorities for grain traders. Libya purchased 1.365 million tonnes of wheat in the 2022-2023 agricultural year (ended on June 30, 2023), Mauritania 129,000 tonnes, Liberia 127,000 tonnes, which are record highs for these countries, the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies said.