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Four cargo ships sail from Ukraine - Turkish, Ukrainian officials

KYIV, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Four ships carrying Ukrainian foodstuffs sailed from Ukrainian Black Sea ports on Sunday as part of a deal to unblock the country's sea exports, Ukrainian and Turkish officials said.

The four bulk carriers were loaded with more than 160,000 tonnes of corn and other foodstuffs.

The resumption of grain exports is being overseen by a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in Istanbul where Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and U.N. personnel are working.

The United Nations and Turkey brokered the deal last month after U.N. warnings of possible outbreaks of famine in parts of the world due to a halt in grain shipments from Ukraine that had squeezed supplies and sent prices soaring.

Before the invasion, Russia and Ukraine together accounted for nearly a third of global wheat exports.

The JCC said late on Saturday it had authorised the departure of a total of five new vessels through the Black Sea corridor: four vessels outbound from Chornomorsk and Odesa carrying 161,084 metric tonnes of foodstuffs, and one inbound.

The ships that have left Ukrainian ports included Glory, with a cargo of 66,000 tonnes of corn bound for Istanbul, and Riva Wind, loaded with 44,000 tonnes of corn, heading for Turkey's Iskenderun, the Turkish defence ministry said.

It said the other two vessels to have left Ukraine were Star Helena, with a cargo of 45,000 tonnes of meal heading to China, and Mustafa Necati, carrying 6,000 tonnes of sunflower oil and heading for Italy.

The first four ships left Ukraine last week under the agreement. (Reporting by Natalia Zinets in Kyiv and Daren Butler in Istanbul Editing by Frances Kerry)

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