This was shown by ship locator services shipfinder.com and marinetraffic.com on Tuesday. In fact, the 26 thousand tons of corn must be transported to the Lebanese port of Tripoli and from there, according to information from the German Press Agency, to neighboring Syria. The ship then changed course about a day before arrival.
Location not specified as destination
The “Razoni” had left the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa a week ago – as the first ship after the end of the grain blockade by Russia, which was at war with Ukraine. After an inspection in Istanbul, she first headed to Lebanon, but then unexpectedly declared “Order” as the new destination, i.e. an unspecified location from which a dealer orders the loaded goods.
The “Razoni” has been moored off the Turkish coast near Iskenderun since Saturday – and, according to Marinetraffic, set sail for the port of Mersin on Tuesday night. The port operator could not immediately be reached for comment.
Search new recipient
The Ukrainian embassy in Lebanon announced on Monday night, citing freight forwarders, that the buyer had jumped – citing a long five-month waiting period due to the lockdown. One is looking for a new recipient in Lebanon or elsewhere. The fact that the “Razoni” changed destinations shortly before arrival was “a little strange”, said a spokesperson for Marinetraffic.
Part of delivery to Syria
Lebanese government officials had previously told dpa that traders likely wanted to bring some of Lebanon’s expected corn load to neighboring Syria. Exporting food for the Syrian civil war is legal, but is hampered by Western financial sanctions against the Syrian government. The Lebanese organization Hezbollah, which is an ally of the regime in Damascus, smuggles food and medicine into Syria on a large scale and also controls most illegal border crossings.
Observers in Lebanon were also surprised by the large shipment of corn that was rumored to be ground up and fed to the animals. In its severe economic and food crisis, Lebanon needs wheat, not corn, said Hani Bushali, president of the Lebanese Food Import Consortium. It also seemed possible that the planned transport to Syria would be canceled – because of the heightened media attention to the “Razoni”.