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Russian export prices for new wheat crop up with global benchmarks

Reuters, 20.05.19

MOSCOW, May 20 (Reuters) - Russian export prices for the new wheat crop, which is going to start arriving on the market in summer, rose last week following an increase in global benchmark Chicago prices, analysts said on Monday.

Black Sea prices for the new crop of Russian wheat with 12.5% protein content were $186 per tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $5 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, quoted FOB new crop for July delivery at $183-186 per tonne at the end of last week, up from $180-185 a week earlier. Russia usually starts wheat harvesting in late June or early July.

Chicago wheat futures hit a six-week high last week due to weather-related concerns in the United States before falling on profit taking.

The size of trade on the old Russian crop is very thin, SovEcon said, adding that the price for the old wheat crop for the nearest delivery was at $201-208 at the end of last week.

Russia exported 40.2 million tonnes of grain from the start of the season on July 1 to May 16, down 13% from a year ago, according to SovEcon. That included 33.2 million tonnes of wheat.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat were down 75 roubles to 12,000 roubles ($186) 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.

By May 17, farmers had sown spring grains on 61% of the planned area, or 18 million hectares, compared with 14 million hectares a year ago, the agriculture ministry said.

"The weather still remains favourable for the new crop," SovEcon said. "There were plenty of rains in the previous weeks and more showers are expected during the rest of May."

Sunflower seed prices were down 100 roubles at 18,475 roubles a tonne, SovEcon said. Domestic sunflower oil prices dropped 75 roubles to 41,925 roubles a tonne.

Meanwhile, Russia's FOB export prices for sunflower oil rose sharply - by $25 to $685 per tonne - to their highest level since September 2018 due to higher demand before Russia's long holiday in early May and a growth in soybean oil prices, SovEcon said.

IKAR said its white sugar price index for southern Russia was $456.94 a tonne on May 17, down $23 from a week earlier.

($1 = 64.5100 roubles)

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