First shipment of Ukrainian grain has left the port of Odessa

Vessel Finder Razoni

The first shipment of Ukrainian grain will leave the port of Odessa at 0530 GMT on Monday, the Turkish defence ministry said.

"The departure of the cargo ship Razoni flying the flag of Sierra Leone and loaded with maize will leave the port of Odessa bound for Lebanon at 08:30 (0530 GMT)," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said other convoys would follow, respecting the maritime corridor and the agreed formalities in line with the agreement reached with Russia on July 22.

According to the Marine Traffic website, the Razoni was still docked in Odessa at 0500 GMT.

Built-in 1996 and measuring 186 metres (610 feet) in length and 25 metres in width, the vessel has a capacity of 30,000 tonnes.

On July 22, Ukraine and Russia signed a landmark deal with Turkey and the United Nations to relieve a global food crisis caused by blocked Black Sea grain deliveries.

Turkey formally opened a special joint coordination centre to oversee the exports in Istanbul last Wednesday, which is being staffed by civilian and military officials from the two warring parties and delegates from Turkey and the UN.

Their primary assignment involves monitoring the safe passage of Ukrainian grain ships along established routes and overseeing their inspection for banned weapons on the way into and out of the Black Sea.

The blockage of deliveries from two of the world's biggest grain exporters has contributed to a price spike that has made food imports prohibitively expensive for some of the world's poorest countries.

UN estimates say nearly 50 million people began to face "acute hunger" worldwide as a direct consequence of the war.

Wheat prices fell sharply hours after the grain deal was signed.