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Russian wheat export prices down on higher supply

Reuters, 06.11.18

MOSCOW: Russian wheat export prices fell last week as supply grew in the domestic market and as a regulator’s efforts to enforce quality standards by seeking to suspend some grain-loading operations had limited impact.

Agriculture safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor, which has beefed up quality controls on grain exports since mid-September, plans to ask a court to temporarily suspend operations at five grain-loading points in one of the country’s main grain export regions, it said last week.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content and for delivery in November were $223 per tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, down $1 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note on Tuesday.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, quoted FOB wheat down $0.5 to $228.5 per tonne, with barley prices up $1 at $236 per tonne.

“We do not expect the suspension of loading points to be large-scale or to have any significant effect on the pace of exports,” SovEcon said.

The Agriculture Ministry is yet to publish last week’s export data. According to SovEcon, as of Nov. 1, Russia had exported 20.3 million tonnes of grain since the start of the 2018/19 season on July 1. That was up 21 percent compared with a year ago and included 17.4 million tonnes of wheat.

Russia is finishing 2018’s grain harvesting and the sowing of winter grains for the 2019 crop but the ministry is yet to update its data for the last week.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat fell 250 roubles to 11,025 roubles ($167) a tonne at the end of last week in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, SovEcon said. Ex-works supply does not include delivery costs.

Sunflower seed prices fell by 400 roubles to 17,550 roubles a tonne, SovEcon said. Domestic prices for sunflower oil were down 1,825 roubles at 43,350 roubles a tonne, while export prices fell $10 to $645 per tonne.

IKAR’s white sugar price index for southern Russia was at $559 a tonne on Nov. 2, down $11 from a week earlier.

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