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Russian wheat export prices down

Reuters, 16.05.19

Russian wheat export prices continued to fall last week as trading activity was depressed by national holidays in Russia and an ongoing shift among exporters to trading the new crop, analysts said.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content and for delivery in May were $181 per tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, down from $211 in late April, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, quoted FOB wheat prices down $6.5 at $204.5 a tonne. It quoted new crop as trading at $180-$185 a tonne.

The country exported 39.4 million tonnes of grain from the start of the season on July 1 to May 6, according to SovEcon. That included 32.7 million tonnes of wheat.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat were down, at 12,000 roubles ($183.70) 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. Trading activity was close to zero, however, SovEcon noted.

Spring grain crops had been planted on 11.2 million hectares as of May 8, SovEcon said, up from a planted area of 7.4 million hectares at the same time last year.

SovEcon said it left its May forecast for the 2019 grain crop unchanged at 129.1 million tonnes, including 83.4 million tonnes of wheat. It cited the Agriculture Ministry as giving an official forecast of 118 million tonnes.

"The weather still looks favourable for the new crop both in Russia and Ukraine. May rains should have helped the moisture reserves; more rains are expected in the majority of key regions in next two weeks," SovEcon said in its note.

IKAR said its white sugar price index for southern Russia was $479.91 a tonne on May 8, down $7.03 from a week earlier.

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