The safe passage of two ships out of Ukraine has raised hopes that there may be a route open to resume grain exports from the country’s main Black Sea port.

The 9,400-teu Joseph Schulte (built 2014) and 32,600-dwt Primus (built 2006) have now sailed safely from Odesa, where they have been trapped for the past 18 months.

Their long-awaited escape did not appear to provoke the Russian military, even though it is highly sensitive to shipping movements in the region and has recently turned its sights on the Ukraine grain infrastructure.