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Russian wheat prices rise on strong rouble

Reuters, 28.02.18


Russian wheat prices rose last week, supported by higher price for global benchmark Chicago wheat, a relatively strong rouble and a seasonal slowdown in exports from Russia, analysts said on Monday. Prices on Russian wheat were also supported by high demand from Egypt, one of its largest buyers. On February 21, Egypt's state grain buyer GASC agreed to purchase 120,000 tonnes of wheat, which traders said was all of Russian origin.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content for March delivery were at $203 a tonne free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, up $1 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note. SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, quoted FOB wheat prices in the Black Sea area up $3 at $203 a tonne.

As of February 21, Russia had exported 33.5 million tonnes of grain since the start of the 2017/18 season on July 1, including 26.3 million tonnes of wheat, the agriculture ministry said. The pace of grain exports was up 40 percent compared with the same period the previous season.

Weather conditions remain satisfactory for Russia's winter grain sowings despite a cold spell in the European region of the country, SovEcon said. The temperature will fall further in coming days in the Central and Volga regions but a good level of snow cover is expected to keep sowings safe from the cold. Among farmers in Russia's southern and central regions who spoke to SovEcon, most said they were not concerned about current weather conditions and said they were close to the seasonal average.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat rose 25 roubles to 8,625 roubles ($154) a tonne in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, SovEcon said. Ex-works supply does not include delivery costs. Sunflower seed prices rose 75 roubles to 19,825 roubles a tonne, SovEcon said. Domestic and export sunflower oil prices were flat at 43,075 roubles a tonne and $740 a tonne, respectively.

IKAR's white sugar price index for southern Russia fell $4 to $473 a tonne as of February 22.



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