Ukraine Conflict Notes

Ukraine Conflict Notes

Updated November 25, 23.25lt


November 25 – FIFA World Cup may be good for relaxing. Nord Stream Sabotage, Grain Corridor and other issues can wait a week or two.

November 18 –  After its suspension on 29th October, UN announces the automatic extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative under the same provisions for another 120 days starting on 19 November, as agreed by the parties to the Initiative. This is good news for the countries expecting the grains however, the substandard ships involved in the trade raises safety navigation questions, especially for Bosphorus passages. It should be not only the holds but the books that UN should check.

Nord Stream Sabotage confirmed which should not go unnoticed and precautions should be taken.

November 11 – The plan is to retreat from Kherson, move fleet from Sevastopol, demilitarize Crimea. Is peace on the horizon? NATO will tell.

November 4 – The Grain Corridor was suspended last Saturday yet now open. The problems are not solved. The corridor is open mainly to ship grains to Türkiye and the Far East. In other words the Corridor is open, but not for everyone this time. One can say the destinations are closely monitored.

First the internet grid, now the electricity grid and the generosity has a limit.

October 28 – Grain corridor really seems to be out of date. The ships are waiting longer  for the passage and as of 24 October,  Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan and Ethiopia roughly received only 216k tonnes in total, among 383 voyages and 8,673,198 metric tons of grains and other foodstuffs moving from Ukrainian ports. Shipments would equate to roughly 3m tonnes per month since beginning August and low income countries only got only 8.3 percent of total 2.6m tonnes of wheat. One thinks, does the corridor serve the purpose with 33 percent success only?

On the other hand, we are still in need of oil like the sundown cycle. If one calls the sanctions the sundown period, then that removes 2m barrels per day from Russia’s oil production says IEA. This would roughly be 180m USD (11B Rubles) per day. In other words less two ships travelling southbound via Bosphorus. With the voyages saved,  low traffic will create (not the money but the) time to renew the tanker fleet, with the help of barter deals and  billions of dollars going to Chinese hands, who can convert same to US Federal Bonds, with (such) high demands strong enough to crash the Treasury web site where the bonds are purchased. reports China has steadily accumulated U.S. Treasury securities over the last few decades. And as of August 2022, the Asian nation owns $971.8 billion, of the U.S. national debt. U.S. debt to China comes mainly in the form of U.S. Treasury securities (bonds issued by the federal government) and the earth will continue to spin. Why slow down?

October 21 – Swedish seismologists said they had registered two explosions on the Nord Stream routes. The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, classified the incidents as sabotage. And  billionaires are issuing recession warnings, why? All comes to the knot of energy corridor now. Soon we will be talking about energy corridors, outdating grain one.

October 14 – On 8th of October, an explosion damaged a part of Kerch Bridge. The bridge was opened end 2019 and the traffic was high since then. Trying to cut the connection is a sign of more action should be expected which pushes for a plan for storing gas in a neigboring country. Türkiye is one of the potential hubs but time will tell if storage will be possible.

October 7 – Black Sea southbound traffic has increased around ten percent when compared with  beginning September passages. Although the container trend figures are showing the slow down in the trade worldwide, owners in Black Sea Region are busy not only with Grain Corridor Trade but also with Russia originated cargoes, pushing us to the same question again, who does Europe sanction?

Nazım Karadağ

November 25, 2022, Istanbul

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