Phoenix Is Said to Be Seller of Russian Wheat Hit by Missile

(Bloomberg) -- A ship carrying Russian wheat to Yemen was hit by a missile last week near its destination, highlighting the risk of supplying a market that’s embroiled in a conflict.

The missile exploded Thursday inside the hold of the Ince Inebolu, which was carrying about 50,000 metric tons of wheat and anchored 70 miles (113 kilometers) off the coast of Yemen, according to Istanbul-based Ince Shipping Group, the vessel owner. The captain reported no casualties and the wheat wasn’t damaged. It’s unclear who fired the missile.

The cargo was being supplied by Dubai-based trader Phoenix Commodities, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Yemen’s Fahem Group is the buyer of the Russian cargo, Ince said.

Ince Shipping said the vessel was ordered by a Saudi naval vessel to head to the Saudi port of Jizan following the attack, and it’s currently outside the Red Sea port, ship-tracking data on Bloomberg show.

Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting rebels, was the seventh-biggest buyer of Russian wheat in February, according to the Moscow-based National Association of Exporters of Agriculture Products. The Middle Eastern country accounted for about 4 percent of Russia’s 3.2 million tons of wheat exports that month.

The Ince Inebolu vessel was carrying grain from the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, according to Ince Shipping. The company isn’t sure when the grain can now be delivered, and the cargo needs to unloaded before the ship can be taken for repairs, it said.

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