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Russian wheat export prices steady despite loading station suspension

Reuters, 23.11.18

Russian wheat export prices remained largely unchanged last week despite the suspension of a loading station at a port on Russia`s Black Sea, analysts said on Monday.

A regional court suspended operations at a loading station at the port of Norovossiisk for one month, agriculture safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said on Thursday.

"The closure will not affect the overall tempo of exports," analysts at SovEcon, a Moscow-based consultancy, wrote in a note.

"Expectations for any sort of significant limits on exports from Russia have not been realised," SovEcon said.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content and for delivery in August remained flat at $225 per tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note.

SovEcon quoted FOB wheat prices as holding steady at $226 a tonne while barley was up $3 at $240 a tonne.

As of Nov. 22, Russia had exported 23.1 million tonnes of grain since the start of the 2018/19 season on July 1, a rise of 15 percent compared to the same period the previous year. This included 19.8 million tonnes of wheat, the agriculture ministry said.

Russia is finishing 2018 grain harvesting and the sowing of winter grains for the 2019 crop. Analysts are forecasting a record sowing area of 18.3 million hectares, compared with 17.8 hectares last year.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat were down 25 roubles to 10,750 roubles a tonne at the end of last week in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, according to SovEcon. Ex-works supply does not include delivery costs.

Sunflower seed prices rose by 275 roubles to 17,775 roubles a tonne, SovEcon said. Domestic sunflower oil prices were down 500 roubles to 42,100 roubles a tonne, while export oil prices remained at $630 per tonne, the agency said.

IKAR`s white sugar price index for southern Russia was at $566.99 a tonne as of Nov. 23, up $11.69 from a week earlier.

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