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Russian wheat prices fall further as large crop arrives

Reuters, 15.08.17

Russian wheat export prices fell for the second consecutive week due to the imminent arrival of a giant crop on the market that is expected to beat last year’s record, analysts said on Monday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and two leading Russian agriculture consultancies SovEcon and IKAR raised their estimates of Russia’s 2017 wheat crop sharply late last week amid record crop yields.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content and for August delivery were $192 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, down $2 from a week earlier, IKAR said in a note on Monday.

Prices for wheat with 11.5 percent protein content fell $4 to $175 a tonne, it added.

SovEcon said FOB wheat prices fell $1 to $197 per tonne, while barley prices rose $1.5 to $177-180 per tonne. IKAR pegged barley prices at $177 and maize (corn) prices at $168.

As of Aug. 9, Russia had exported 3.7 million tonnes of grain since the start of the 2017/18 marketing season on July 1, up 24 percent from a year ago. That included 2.4 million tonnes of wheat, up 2.6 percent from the same period a year ago.

Russia’s wheat harvesting is still delayed compared with a year ago but the gap had shortened to 2 percent by the end of last week from 5 percent a week earlier, SovEcon said.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat fell 100 roubles to 8,950 roubles ($145) a tonne in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, according to SovEcon. Ex-works supply does not include delivery costs.

Prices for fourth-class wheat fell 275 roubles to 8,100 roubles a tonne.

Russian sunflower seed prices were up 225 roubles at 20,175 roubles per tonne, SovEcon said, while domestic sunflower oil prices and export oil prices remained at 44,325 roubles and $740 per tonne, respectively.

“The trading activity in the domestic sunseed and oil market is low, the sunflower oil plants are preparing for the start of the new season and are processing the new crop rapeseed,” SovEcon said.

IKAR’s white sugar price index for southern Russia was down $26 at $517 a tonne as of Aug. 11.

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