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Russian wheat prices rise with global benchmarks, stronger rouble

Reuters, 18.09.17

MOSCOW, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Russian wheat export prices rose for a second consecutive week due to higher global benchmarks and the strengthening of the rouble against the dollar, analysts said on Monday.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content and September delivery were at $185 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $2 from the week earlier, agriculture consultancy IKAR said.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, said wheat prices rose $1 to $185 per tonne, while barley prices climbed $3 to $180 per tonne. IKAR pegged barley prices for September delivery unchanged at $179.

Chicago wheat futures Wv1, a global benchmark, rose 2.5 percent last week. This was partially due to a wave of short-covering that suggested investors had priced in large global supplies, with southern hemisphere crop risks fuelling the change in sentiment.

The rouble is being supported by a recent recovery in prices for oil, Russia's key export.

As of Sept. 13, Russia had exported 8.9 million tonnes of grain since the start of the 2017/18 marketing season on July 1, up 19 percent from a year earlier. Wheat exports are up 6 percent at 6.7 million tonnes.

Russia had harvested 109.0 million tonnes of grain from 71.5 percent of the total area as of Sept. 14. That compares with the 102.8 million tonnes harvested by the same date a year earlier, the ministry said.

Russian domestic wheat prices have been under pressure from the large crop and heavy workload of the storage capacity.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat fell by 200 roubles to 8,125 roubles a tonne in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, according to SovEcon. Prices for fourth-class wheat fell 275 roubles to 7,075 roubles a tonne. Ex-works supply does not include delivery costs.

Russian sunflower seed prices were down 550 roubles to 18,300 roubles per tonne, SovEcon said, while domestic sunflower oil prices remained at 44,000 roubles and export oil prices rose $5 to $765 per tonne.

IKAR's white sugar price index for southern Russia was down $5 at $441 a tonne as of Sept. 15.

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