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Russian wheat export prices stable due to dry weather

Reuters, 11.07.18

Russian wheat export prices were stable last week due to concerns over dry weather, analysts said on Monday. Black Sea prices for the new crop of Russian wheat were at $200 a tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, unchanged from a week earlier, the IKAR agriculture consultancy said in a note.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, pegged wheat and barley prices unchanged at $197 per tonne and $189.5 per tonne, respectively. Russia exported 52.42 million tonnes of grain in the 2017/18 season which ended on June 30, up 47 percent year on year, including 40.45 million tonnes of wheat, the agriculture ministry said. It sees Russia's grain export at 44-45 million tonnes in 2018/19.

Since the start of the new marketing year and to July 4, Russia has exported 70,000 tonnes of wheat, which is 1.6 times higher than the same period a year ago, the agriculture ministry said.

Russia has harvested 15.3 million tonnes of grain with average yields down year-on-year from 9 percent of the area. The harvesting started earlier than a year ago due to dry weather in several regions.

Parts of southern Russia are in urgent need of rain in the next couple of weeks to prevent a potentially damaging drop in spring grain yields, SovEcon said in a separate note.

According to a state weather forecaster Hydrometcentre, the southern cities of Krasnodar, Stavropol and Rostov will see some rain towards the end of this week.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat were down 50 roubles to 9,125 roubles ($145) a tonne in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, according to SovEcon.

The government continues selling up to 500,000 tonnes of grain from 2008-2016 crops from its 4 million tonne grain stockpile to free up storage space and to reduce budget spending on servicing the stock.

It is offering the grain in small batches in the hope that buyers will then export it. It has sold 122,539 tonnes of grain in several tenders since the start of this process on June 20.

Sunflower seed prices fell by 100 roubles to 21,150 roubles a tonne, SovEcon said. Domestic sunflower oil prices remained at 45,075 roubles, while export oil prices rose by $5 to $720. IKAR's white sugar price index for southern Russia was $482.1 a tonne of July 6, down $15.6 from a week earlier.

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