UPDATE 1-Insurer Ascot pauses writing new cover for Ukrainian shipments
(Adds further comment, detail)
LONDON, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Lloyd’s of London insurer Ascot is pausing writing cover for new shipments using the Ukrainian grains corridor until it can better understand the situation, a senior official said on Monday.
Moscow said it was forced to pull out of the Black Sea grain shipping deal after blasts damaged Russian navy ships in the Crimean port of Sevastopol on Saturday.
“From today we are pausing on quoting new shipments until we better understand the situation,” Ascot head of cargo Chris McGill told Reuters. "Insurance that has already been issued still stands.”
Ascot and broker Marsh launched a facility for grain traders in late July to provide up to $50 million in cargo cover for every voyage.
The cargo facility, whose underwriting risk has been shared by a number of syndicates in the Lloyd's market, has been used by a significant proportion of the shipments to date.
"Any shipments that were quoted last week are valid for seven days. However, we had seen a drop off in submissions last week," Ascot's McGill said.
"It's new shipments coming to the market since the news that will need consideration."
International officials had feared that Moscow would reimpose a blockade on Ukrainian grain, after Russia announced on Saturday that it was suspending its role in the U.N.-backed programme that escorts cargo ships through the Black Sea. (Reporting by Jonathan Saul and Carolyn Cohn Editing by David Goodman and Tomasz Janowski)
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