Ships carrying sunflower oils depart from Russian ports
Three ships carrying tons of sunflower seed oil have departed from the Russian ports of Yeisk and Rostov, the Turkish General Directorate of Maritime Affairs has announced, adding that other vessels are also on their way to Turkey.
A ship with more than 6,000 tons of sunflower oil on board, which sailed from the Yeisk port and has already passed through the Kerch Strait, is expected to dock at a port in the Turkish province of Mersin on the Mediterranean coast on March 15, according to the authority.
Three more vessels, also carrying sunflower oil, are on their way from the port of Rostov and will arrive in Turkey on March 17, it said.
Top government officials have repeatedly dismissed claims that Turkey could soon face a shortage of sunflower seed oil, branding such suggestions as baseless. However, people still rushed to supermarkets over the weekend to buy sunflower oil.
In the face of this panic buying and a sharp increase in the price of the product, officials have started to conduct inspections on supermarkets across the country to see if they have hiked prices or keeping sunflower oil in storage instead of offering it to consumers.
The Justice Ministry is also working on a draft law that would introduce harsher fines for those engaging in stockpiling and price gouging practices.
The General Directorate of Maritime Affairs also announced on Twitter on March 9 that six ships, which are either owned or operated by Turkish companies, departed from Russian ports.
They are carrying coal, iron ore and wheat, the authority said, adding that five of those ships will be arriving in Turkey, while the other one is going to Romania.